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Woman suffers burns after hot air balloon hits power lines

A woman suffered burns when a hot air balloon collided with power lines and "burst into flames" before crashing in a field.

Northamptonshire Police said the balloon came down in a field next to the B573 by Earls Barton, near Northampton, at around 7.30am on Sunday.

The woman, who was on board the balloon, was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for treatment.

The 22-year-old was a passenger, while the pilot was a 64-year-old man who escaped injury, according to the BBC.

The crash caused power to be temporarily cut to more than 2,000 homes, Western Power Distribution said.

A man who claimed on Facebook that he saw the incident said the balloon basket hit power cables near the field.

Steve Tee said: "The balloon seemed to struggle to gain the altitude. The balloon basket hit the power lines causing it to burst into flames.

"The balloon to rapidly deflate and plummet. I hope all involved are going to be ok."

An eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said there were several balloons in the air above a car-boot sale held by nearby Whites Nurseries.

He said: "One of them looked like it was carrying on towards the village and I think it must have collided with the electricity lines. There were quite a few people in the field at the time."

A Western Power Distribution spokesman said: "We had one of our 33,000 volt circuits trip - it was a momentary interruption to 2,360 customers and they were restored automatically within a minute.

"We had a report of a hot air balloon crash and since then we have switched the circuit out. Engineers attended and the circuit was completely isolated. They inspected the line and completed minor repairs.

"The line did not come down."

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) will investigate, police said.

A spokesman for the AAIB said: "We are aware of the incident and are making inquiries."

A spokesman for East Midlands Ambulance Service said the woman had burns to her back, arms and hands and was taken to hospital in an air ambulance.

The pilot suffered minor burns and was treated at the scene, he added.


From Belfast Telegraph