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Hot air balloon crashed in New Zealand

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The balloon crashed to the ground, 11 people were injured, two were taken to intensive care. At least 160 houses were left without electricity.

In the New Zealand city of Queenstown, a hot air balloon capsized by a strong gust of wind, hit a power line and fell. 11 people were injured, they were hospitalized. Two are in serious condition, writes The New Zealand Herald.

The incident happened at about 10 o’clock local time. The balloon, overturned by a gust of wind, crashed to the ground.

The publication notes that the pilot and 10 passengers managed to get out on their own. The doctors who arrived at the scene diagnosed the victims with moderate bruises and fractures. Two people had internal bleeding.

Sunrise Balloons owner and chief pilot Hugh McLellan said the accident occurred approximately one-hour into an uneventful flight within “normal wind parameters” as it came in to land at a landing area on a private airstrip in Morven Ferry Road.

“On approach, the balloon was caught by a sudden wind gust and the basket containing passengers impacted with a low bank,” Sunrise Balloons said in a statement.

McLellan said The company has temporarily suspended its commercial operation and is co-operating fully with police, Civil Aviation and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

“We are fully supporting our staff and guests at this difficult time, and we wish all involved a full and speedy recovery.

“An internal investigation is underway and we are working closely with all relevant authorities.”

Two people with serious injuries were transported to Dunedin Hospital by helicopters. Others were transported to Lakes District Hospital by ambulance.

Police and emergency services work at the scene.

As the balloon hit a power line, the electricity company cut power, leaving at least 160 homes without electricity.

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