The basket of the hot air balloon that crashed in Sharjah’s Al Madam area early on Saturday. Image Credit: Courtesy: Sharjah Police

Sharjah: Sharjah Police are investigating a hot air balloon accident that left six tourists injured early on Saturday, an official said on Monday.

The balloon went down suddenly in Al Madam desert area.

Colonel Ahmad Bin Darwish, director of Sharjah’s Central Region, said: “We’re looking into what happened to determine if any violations occurred.”

The police operations room received a call at 9am saying that six tourists, including Chinese and South Africans, were injured when a balloon went down.

One 41-year-old South African tourist was airlifted to Al Qasimi Hospital as his condition was critical. The man who had sustained serious burns was admitted to the ICU.

The other injured were moved to Al Dhaid Hospital.

The police are investigating whether the pilot committed any violations and if the company had a licence to operate balloons in the area.

The exact circumstances ofthe accident were not immediately clear and the name of the balloon operator was not disclosed.


Balloon accidents

April 2010: Two tourists are killed as their hot air balloon crashes in the desert near Al Nahil, a town 70km north-west of Al Ain. The balloon was carrying 14 passengers, including three crew.

July 2015: Three tourists are injured when their balloon suddenly goes down in Sharjah’s Al Badayer area.

February 2016: Thirteen passengers sustain minor injuries, with one treated for a serious ankle injury, as balloon carrying 20 passengers crashed in the Dubai desert at Margham.