Egypt hot air balloon crash: tributes paid to 'adventurous spirits'


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The Independent Online

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to the victims of the hot air balloon crash in Luxor on Tuesday.

Aspiring artists Joe Bampton, 40, and Suzanna Gyetvai, 34, – known by her professional name Zsi – were described by co-workers as “adventurous spirits”. The couple, who lived in London, had been expected to return home later this week. 

Nick Carter, an auctioneer at the Lots Road auction house in Chelsea, where the pair worked, said: “They were both very well loved people. We are a very close company, so everyone here is like a brother or sister.”

Mr Carter praised Ms Gyetvai’s artwork, and said Mr Bampton – an expert valuer in rugs, carpets and antiques – had been “very popular” and “passionate” about his work.

“They were the kind of people who threw themselves into their work 100 per cent,” he said. “They were different people: Joe was more laid back and easygoing, whereas Zsi was a very strong personality. But they complemented each other, they were proper companions. They liked travelling and were both adventurous spirits.”

Mr Carter said the couple had been looking forward to their holiday in Egypt.

Tributes were also paid to Yvonne Rennie, 48, from Perth, Scotland, who was killed in the crash. Her husband, Michael, 49, survived with minor injuries. His brother, David, said the family were “grieving for our loss of Yvonne”. 

A neighbour, Kathleen Lumsden, 77, said Mr Rennie had talked about hot air ballooning before the couple set off for Egypt. “They were brilliant, lovely neighbours,” she said.

Mrs Rennie had worked as a senior administrative officer at Perth Royal Infirmary

Radiology manager Douglas   said: “She was a much-loved colleague who enjoyed her job... She will be sadly missed.”