Egypt balloon death Clapham couple ‘will be sadly missed’
16:50 28 February 2013
The mother of the Clapham man killed in the Egypt hot air balloon crash has spoken of how much she will miss her son.
Joe Bampton, 40, died, along with his Hungarian-born girlfriend Suzanna Gyetvai and 17 others in the fatal crash in Luxor on Tuesday.
The balloon was reportedly 1,000 feet in the air when it exploded and plummeted to the ground.
Maureen Bampton described the couple as “wonderfully creative and sensitive individuals” who enjoyed walking their dog in Clapham Common.
She added, to the BBC: “Joe and Zsi will be sadly missed by their families, and work colleagues and their many, many good friends.”
The couple worked as valuers at the Lots Road Auctions in Chelsea. Liverpool-born Mr Bampton specialised in rugs, carpets and antiques. He attended the Slade’s School of Fine Art.
Ms Gyetvai was a contemporary artist who used the professional name Zsi Chimera. She worked in silk-screen printing, etching and collage and had exhibited extensively.
Speaking yesterday, Lots Road auctioneer Nick Carter said: “It’s like losing a brother, not just a colleague or friend.
“It’s pretty gut-wrenching. Joe was a lovely person, very laid back and very calm.
“Zsi was different to Joe in some ways. She was very direct and headstrong. They made great companions.”
The Egyptian authorities have grounded all hot air balloon flights in the country while they investigate the incident.