At least 19 foreign tourists, including Britons, were killed as their hot air balloon crashed near the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor, a security official has said.

The official said the casualties included French, British and other nationals.

There was a fire and an explosion and the balloon plunged from the sky and crashed into sugar cane fields west of Luxor. Luxor is 320 miles south of Cairo, he said.

An Associated Press reporter at the crash site said he counted eight bodies as they were put into body bags and taken away.