Pilot and nine passengers unscathed after hot air balloon hits power lines

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A PILOT and nine passengers had a lucky escape when their hot air balloon crashed onto power lines in North Yorkshire.

The balloon is believed to have taken off yesterday morning from the Knavesmire in York before it crashed a short time later at West Haddlesey, near Selby.

Nobody was injured or stranded in the balloon.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the accident.

A police spokesman said: “No reports of any injuries have been received and we understand that the passengers have been taken back to York Racecourse from where the balloon had taken off earlier this morning.

“The Air Accident Investigation Branch have been informed of the incident.”

Witness Richard Watson said: “It tried to land before the road and went down with a bit of a bang. It hit the road and fence and bounced back over the road top and hit the flood bank and disappeared over the flood bank top and crashed into the power lines. The passengers had a lucky escape.”

He said a couple of passengers managed to get out looking “dazed”.

Balloon Rides, which operated the flight, said there had been “an increase in surface winds on landing”.