Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Search under way after hot air balloon "catches fire" in Virginia

Source: Reuters - Sat, 10 May 2014 04:08 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-nat
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

May 9 (Reuters) - A hot air balloon carrying three people is believed to have caught fire and crashed in Virginia late on Friday, though a search for the wreckage has been hindered by bad weather, balloon festival organizers said.

Officials were searching for the pilot and two passengers after the balloon "apparently hit a power line and caught fire" in Doswell, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Richmond at 7.30 p.m. local time (2300 GMT), said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

The balloon was taking part in the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival and crashed near a park, organizers said in a statement on the festival website, quoting Virginia state police. A spokesman said the remainder of the events through Sunday have been canceled.

"No wreckage has been found yet, and there are no confirmed injuries or fatalities," event organizers said.

Media said one or two balloons drifted into power lines and caught fire. There was no official confirmation.

A ground search was under way involving state police, the Federal Aviation Administration, and local law enforcement and emergency workers, officials said.

"State police report that bad weather elsewhere in the Richmond vicinity has grounded air search for the time being," organizers wrote on the website.

The festival's website listed a "Friday Flights Happy Hour" from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus