Hot air balloon crashes in New Zealand’s Queenstown
NEW ZEALAND: A hot air balloon crashed as it was about to land in New Zealand’s Queenstown on Friday, injuring all 11 people.
Two people suffered serious injuries and were rushed to a hospital.
According to the company, Sunrise Balloons, the balloon was caught by a sudden wind gust and the basket containing passengers impacted with a low bank.
The operations manager for St John Ambulance said “so responding to those patients, and understanding what the situation was, took some time based on the length of the scene.”
The balloon basket ended up near a driveway while the balloon fabric was draped over a power line.
The two seriously injured passengers were taken by helicopter to Dunedin Hospital. The pilot and the eight other passengers were treated for minor injuries.
Sunrise Balloons owner and chief pilot Hugh McLellan said the company was “deeply upset” about the incident and the injuries sustained to their pilot and guests.
The company said it has temporarily stopped further flights and is cooperating with police and aviation authorities, who are investigating the incident.