Family and friends are grieving over the loss of 11 people who tragically died in a hot air balloon crash in New Zealand. The tragedy happened last weekend after the hot air balloon hit an electrical wire and caught on fire. The balloon tumbled down while aflame and crashed onto a field next to Carterton. It is reported that two passengers have jumped to their deaths before the balloon made its crash landing with the pilot and the other 8 passengers.Commander inspector Brent Register commented “this is not a quick process and will take some time to complete,” in regards to how the balloon caught on fire, landed, and what was the reasoning for their deaths. Wairarapa’s Early Morning Balloons company are the ones who have prepared the hot air balloon flight and have left the following statement, “We deeply regret to advise there has been a tragic accident involving the early morning balloon based in Carterton with the loss of 11 lives. This tragedy will affect many families and our thoughts and sympathies lie with the family and friends of these passengers and pilot, whose lives have been tragically ended.”It is said there were many witnesses at the scene as the events unfolded. Emergency services were called onto the scene but could not help, as the balloon was losing control.Sparks of the power line have also started a fire within the basket before the balloon itself flared up and dropped speedily to the ground. Many of the bodies of the victims are reported to be so badly burned that it is difficult to provide any identification at this point in time. One resident, Don Cunningham has told a news outlet that the conditions for flying that day were perfect with still winds. He then told reporters, “”I saw the canopy going down and then I heard some screaming and shouting and then suddenly a big pall of smoke.”Wairarapa is New Zealand’s destination for recreational hot air balloons. The annual festival entitled “Balloons over Wairarapa” is held in early March. This disaster is the world record for the biggest loss of life in the air in New Zealand. This is also the second incident before the February Christchurch earthquake of 2011, which claimed 181 lives. This balloon incident is not the first hot air balloon tragedy. In 1989, two air balloons collided into each other resulting in 13 fatalities in the town of Alice Springs, Australia.
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