LUXOR, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian officials say 11 tourists are safe after their hot air balloon drifted away, forcing them to land in the country's southern desert.

The officials say the tourists — five Indians, four Chinese, a British and an Egyptian — were ballooning over ancient Egyptian temples in the southern province of Luxor when strong winds took them off course and westward into the desert.

Their pilot managed to regain control of the balloon and they eventually landed safely. A search airplane located the balloon and cars were dispatched to drive the tourists back to Luxor on Thursday.

The tourist officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk to reporters.

Hot air ballooning over Luxor is popular, with balloons taking nearly 360 tourists over the city every day.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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