Man Falls to His Death From Hot-Air Balloon

He fell while the balloon was over a residential area in Melbourne, Australia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2024 3:00 AM CDT
Man Falls to His Death From Hot-Air Balloon
A police officer walks past a trailer with a hot-air balloon basket on it after the discovery of a man's body at Yarra Bend Park in Melbourne, Monday, March 18, 2024. A man has fallen to his death from a hot-air balloon as it passed over suburban Melbourne, Australia's second largest city.   (Diego Fedele/AAP Image via AP)

A man fell to his death from a hot-air balloon Monday as it passed over suburban Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. The hot-air balloon took off from Melbourne's northern suburbs early in the morning and was in the air for about 30 minutes before the man fell from the basket, the AP reports. His body was found in a residential area that Victoria state police closed off to traffic. The balloon landed safely many miles from where the man's body was found. A local reporter told 3AW radio it was a "really confronting, shocking scene in Preston this morning," because there are a lot of homes in the area where the man fell, the Guardian reports.

Police said it will prepare a report for the coroner and the death is not being treated as suspicious. Police are also speaking with the balloon's pilot, other occupants and witnesses. The National Commercial Hot-Air Ballooning Industry and the Australian Ballooning Federation expressed condolences for the man's family and friends. "Hot-air balloon baskets are designed with safety in mind, specifically to prevent passengers from falling out accidentally or from any accidental exit," their written statement said. "Passengers and the pilot are understandably traumatized by this tragedy and the operator is arranging psychological support and counselling for all affected."

(More hot air balloon stories.)

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