A private Italian plane crashed late Sunday close to the Hurghada Airport, the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported, leaving two pilots injured.
Spokesperson of the Red Sea Security Directorate, Walid Magdy, said that the pilots were briefly treated in a hospital in the resort city of Gouna. He added that the plane took off from Cyprus for Saudi Arabia, where it would make a transit stop before moving on to its final destination in India. The plane was supposed to land in Hurghada to re-fuel, but crashed near the airport.
Sources in the Civil Aviation Authority explained that the pilots had informed the airport’s traffic control tower that one of the plane’s engines was damaged, which caused the plane to crash in a sandy area a few kilometers away from the airport.
Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal ordered an immediate investigation into the accident.
In recent years, Egypt has witnessed a series of other vehicular accidents in tourist areas that have resulted in casualties.
Two Ukrainians were killed and 11 others were injured in a bus crash in the Shokeir area of Hurghada in May. In the same month, four Mexicans were killed and 17 others were injured close to Saint Catherine’s monastery in Sinai.
In March 2014, a bus transporting 37 Russian tourists also collided with a speeding car on the Safaga-Luxor road, injuring many of the passengers.
However, the most serious accident in a tourist area took place in February 2013, when a hot air balloon crashed in the southern city of Luxor, killing 19 tourists. Authorities said that casualties included British, French, Belgian, Hungarian and Japanese nationals and nine tourists from Hong Kong. People aboard the balloon were killed after jumping out in a desperate attempt to escape the fire that had broken out.