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Horror of balloon crash victim

A Briton badly injured in an earlier Luxor balloon crash has spoken of her horror at hearing of another tragedy in Egypt.

Former policewoman Linda Lea still suffers from the multiple injuries she sustained when a hot air balloon crashed to the ground in Luxor in 2009.

She had to pull off the road when she heard the news of today's accident on her car radio.

"I had to stop the car. It was like a complete flashback," said Mrs Lea, 67, of Brown Edge near Stoke-on-Trent.

She went on: "I cannot believe this has happened again. They promised to tighten safety procedures after my crash. Flights were stopped for a time.

"These balloons are just too unstable. There is not enough training of staff. There were about 22 or 23 in my balloon when it crashed and maybe there was too many then and too many in today's accident."

Mrs Lea's injuries included a fractured spine, a broken collarbone, broken ribs and a broken shin.

Her balloon hit a mobile phone transmission tower after a strong gust of wind, sending the balloon crashing to the ground.

Mrs Lea was dragged along the ground and then left in a field for an hour. She was in hospital for a total of four months, receiving treatment in Egypt and then in the West Midlands and then nearer her home.

She said: "I am glad to be alive but I am nothing like as mobile as I was. I have back pain all the time. This crash severely altered my life."

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