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  1. #1
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    Balloon crash in New Zealand kills 11

    Eleven people are dead after a hot air balloon burst into flames and smashed to the ground near Carterton this morning.
    Wairarapa District Health Board spokeswoman Jill Stringer said 11 people - all of those on board - died when the balloon came down near the Clareville showgrounds north of the Wairarapa town.




    Police have cordoned off both ends of Somerset Rd, from where fire trucks and police cars can be seen at the site of the crash around 300m up the road.
    A nearby resident said the balloon hit powerlines causing power cuts to the local area for about 20 minutes.
    Another witness spoke of the harrowing scene.
    "The people were enjoying a nice ride and by the looks of it they clipped a power wire.
    "They've clipped a power wire and tried to go up then they've sort of gone across the road then its caught fire and they come down in a hell of a hurry.
    "I was loooking out the window watching it happen.''
    Before the accident he had seen them passing overhead and waved to them.
    "Then I heard the screams and looked out the window and heard it coming down. I was having my breakfast and I heard them, they sounded like screams of joy but they weren't.
    "It wasn't coming from a great deal of height.
    "I ran down the road to see if I could help but by that stage it was too late. it was just burned out. By the time the emergency services got there - there wasn't much of a chance.
    ''When we got there the farmer said a couple had jumped out and were over in the paddock.
    "We went over their to investigate and see if they could help. They continued doing CPR on them until the right people arrived.''
    David McKinlay, who lives on the north eastern side of Carterton, has described 10 metre flames bursting from the balloon before it smashed to the ground.
    "I was watering the garden and heard a noise, the noise of the gas to raise the balloon. I looked over and I couldn't believe it - one side of the basket was on fire.
    "It was just above the trees when I first saw it ... it looked like he tried to raise it a bit higher ... all of a sudden there was just 10 metres of flames.
    "It was like a rocket coming down; it was just unbelievable."
    McKinlay, who said it was common for balloons to take off from Somerset Rd, likened what he'd seen to a flaming rocket launching.
    It believed the balloon was owned by Lance Hopping, of Ballooning NZ. It is not known if he was on board the flight.
    Police, fire, ambulance are at the scene.
    A large media contingent has gathered an the edge of State Highway 2 but little of the accident is visible from the roadside.
    Transport Accident Investigation Commission communications manager Peter Northcote said the Commission had opened an inquiry into the crash.
    An investigation team was being assembled with the first two of up to four investigators due on the scene about midday.
    Commission conducts safety focused investigations with the aim of being able to explain the causes of an accident, so that lessons and recommendations can be drawn in order to help reduce the likelihood of a similar event in the future.

    Carterton Hot Air Balloon Crash - national | Stuff.co.nz
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  2. #2
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    I am sure they were all appraised of the risk and signed a waiver before they embarked on their adventure.

    Only in a third world country would this type of thing happen.

  3. #3
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    Damn.

    RIP

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post

    Only in a third world country would this type of thing happen.
    third world country! it was in NZ

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    Cenosillicaphobiac
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    4th world country, then.

  6. #6
    ENT
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    RIP.

    I was watching a couple of balloons taking off about a week ago.

    One rose slowly and drifted around a bit at about 3,000 ft, while the other shot up into the sky at a fast rate of knots to about 6.000 ft, stopped for a few minutes then dropped in a hell of a hurry straight down to land.

    Someone made a mistake, as the other balloon landed almost immediately after.

    All this in about 20-30 mins or so.
    No further attempts to fly that day.

    Until this morning I was keen to go for a ride in one also, but I'm not so keen to get into a 10 man basket any more.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post

    Only in a third world country would this type of thing happen.
    third world country! it was in NZ
    Yes it implies that from the report "near Wellington and a NZ news service". These thing just don't happen in a democratic country, I am reliably informed.
    Last edited by OhOh; 07-01-2012 at 09:23 AM.

  8. #8
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    Balloon pilots are all crazy. We had them flying over our house on many occasion. Interrupting out tea in the Garden and the wife's nude sunbathing. Nearly taking the chimney pots with their basket of champagne drinking tourists, frightening the horses what, any lower and the dogs would have had them.

    Good job the shotgun was in a locked cupboard.

    Anyone who gets into a wicker basket, with a nylon balloon and a gas fire underneath which goes up in the air hundreds of metres needs their head examining.
    Last edited by OhOh; 07-01-2012 at 09:27 AM.
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