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NH Hot Air Balloon Gets Tangled in Power Lines

HAMPSTEAD, N.H. (CNN) — Passengers aboard a hot air balloon in New Hampshire were preparing to land safely in an open field, when strong winds blew them off-course, into a much more treacherous spot.

“If you stand here for a few minutes, the wind is coming from all directions and that’s exactly what happened.”

The result: the nearly 90 foot balloon got tangled up in the power lines on Emerson Avenue in Hampstead.

Balloon pilot Charles Sica says that he was already on descent, so he didn’t have enough lift to get over the lines.

“It was started to get tangled up and I thought, well, now at this point, I’ve just got to let the balloon down get it down and let my passengers out, and that’s exactly what we did,” says Sica.

They were assisted by neighbors who rushed to help, grabbing a line dropped by Sica and trying to secure the balloon.

There were a total of five people in the balloon, according to Hampstead Police, none of them were injured.

“After they all got out and stuff, I offered for them to come up to the house or sit down or anything else they might want to do,” says neighbor Dean

Howard says the electricity was arcing over the wires but when fire department arrived that had stopped.

“There still was some danger of fire from the power lines so we isolated the area, evacuated the people and just stood by for the power company,” says Capt. William Warnock of the Hampstead Fire Department.

The power company came in to remove balloon.

A balloon which, according to the company’s web site, when fully inflated stands about 90 feet high and is nearly 60 feet in diameter. The balloon did suffer some tears but the pilot says that can be repaired. And he has no plans to quit ballooning.

The incident caused about 3,000 people to lose electricity.

Crews were working to remove the deflated balloon and restore power.


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