All 11 People On Board Hot Air Balloon Collapsed In New Zealand Were Injured When It Crashed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — According to officials and the ballooning business, a hot air balloon collapsed as it was ready to descend in New Zealand on Friday, hurting all 11 passengers on board, including two who sustained critical injuries and were evacuated to a hospital.

When the pilot attempted to land on a private airfield shortly before 10 a.m., Sunrise Balloons stated the hour-long journey near Queenstown had been uneventful and that the pilot was flying within typical wind speeds.

The balloon was caught by a strong wind blow on approach, and the basket holding passengers collided with a low bank, according to the firm.

According to medics, the injured victims were strewn across an area the size of a football field.

According to David Baillie, an operations manager with St John Ambulance, “responding to those people and determining what the issue took some time depending on the length of the scene.”

According to the business, the balloon basket landed up near a driveway with the balloon fabric stretched over a powerline.

The two critically injured passengers were flown to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter. The pilot and the other eight passengers were taken to the hospital and treated for mild to moderate injuries before being released.

Hugh McLellan, owner and chief pilot of Sunrise Balloons, expressed his company’s “great sadness” over the tragedy and the injuries incurred by their pilot and passengers.

The airline said it has temporarily halted flights and is working with police and aviation authorities to investigate the situation.

According to the business, all of the passengers were New Zealand residents. The coronavirus epidemic forced New Zealand to restrict its borders to international tourists more than a year ago.

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