According to initial reports, the balloon was in the process of landing after 7 a.m. when a cable got caught around a gas tube and a fire erupted. The balloon plummeted about 1,000 feet to the ground, crashing in a sugar cane field. The bodies of the tourists were scattered across the field around remnants of the balloon.
Authorities suspended hot air balloon flights, a popular tourist attraction here, while investigators determined the cause of the accident.
The tragedy raised worries of another blow to the nation's vital tourism industry, decimated by two years of unrest since the 2011 revolution that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The southern city of Luxor has been hit hard, with vacant hotel rooms and empty cruise ships.