BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Foreign Ministry confirmed Tuesday that nine tourists from Hong Kong have died in Egypt.
"The Chinese government has taken the deaths of the nine Hong Kong tourists seriously and sent a work panel to Egypt to deal with the aftermath," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement Tuesday night.
A hot air balloon with 20 tourists exploded and plunged to the earth in the city of Luxor, killing 19 people including the nine from Hong Kong, Hua said.
The Chinese Embassy in Egypt and the Foreign Ministry's Office of the Commissioner in Hong Kong have launched an emergency response, kept close contact with related departments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and helped government staff, tourism company representatives and the relatives of the deceased travel to Egypt, Hua said, adding that the Chinese Embassy in Egypt has already sent staff to the scene.
The work panel, the Chinese Embassy in Egypt and the Office of the Commissioner in Hong Kong will do their best to help the victims' relatives deal with the tragedy, Hua said.