Singed hot air balloon lands at Wallingford school

Singed hot air balloon lands at Wallingford school

reporter photo

The privately-owned balloon took off from Aqua Turf in Southington and carried five people in the basket There were no reported injuries.

Emergency crews were dispatched around 9:10 a.m. to the area of Dana Boulevard initially. Police tracked the balloon as it crossed the Ridges neighborhood and descended at Parker Farms.

Police on the scene said the basket had snagged a tree and when the operator attempted to use the torch to gain height, the flame melted a hole in the balloon.

Penelope Christy, of Middletown, operated the balloon. She said hot air balloons use trees to slow down upon descent, but in this case the top of the tree had rough branches instead of leafy tops.

“We just carried on,” Christy said. “The integrity of the aircraft was not compromised.”

After the balloon landed, police and fire crews assisted Christy and the passengers in dismantling the balloon. Representatives from the school district also were present.

A video taken on Terrell Farms Way and shared on Facebook shows the balloon hitting the street and catching fire.


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