'They have learned nothing': Injured Stoke-on-Trent tourist blasts operators after latest Luxor hot air balloon crash
A STAFFORDSHIRE woman who was seriously injured four years ago when a hot air balloon crashed in Luxor in Egypt today blasted the tourist operators, and fumed: "They have learned nothing."
Linda Lea, aged 66, almost died when a hot air balloon plunged 30ft to the ground in an almost identical crash to the one which killed 19 people in the same city on Tuesday.
The retired police officer, of Brown Edge, suffered broken bones in her back, neck, ribs and collar bone as well as an open fracture to her leg in the horrific accident which killed four people and injured 16 tourists.
The mum-of-one was one of 26 people taking a trip on a hot air balloon on April 25, 2009 when it collided with a mobile phone mast.
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The basket plummeted to the ground before engulfing into a fireball when it landed in a field.
Mrs Lea was left writhing in agony for an hour before rescuers reached her and rushed her to hospital.
Almost exactly four years on, Mrs Lea, said: "I was driving when I heard about the latest crash. I had to pull up and stop because I went straight into a vivid flashback.
"I have suffered flashbacks ever since it happened and I'm in constant pain every day, my movement is nowhere near what it used to be.
"I feel so sorry for those families involved, because their lives have been changed today. My daughter had to fly out to Egypt to see me after the crash.
"It's disgusting that apparently nothing has changed over the years. They made loads of promises back then about retraining pilots and having fewer people on the balloons but nothing seems to have changed.
"I have only flown once since then, and I won't be doing it again.
"I warn anyone I know or meet away from balloons, I know safety measures are better over here but you never know."