Northamptonshire balloon crash passenger '˜hopes to be released from hospital soon'

A woman who suffered burns after a hot air balloon accident in Northamptonshire is recovering well in hospital.

Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 5:00 am
The air balloon just before it crashed. Picture by Eddie White.

The 22-year-old was in an air balloon over Earls Barton on Sunday when it descended rapidly into a field off Northampton Road, with witnesses saying the canopy was on fire.

The pilot - a 64-year-old man - was uninjured but the woman was airlifted to a Birmingham hospital with burns injuries.

However, a statement by the British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) said she was doing much better than witnesses feared.

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A spokeswoman said: “The passenger is recovering well and is hoping to be released from hospital very soon.”

The club is looking into the accident and preparing a report for the Air Accident Investigation Branch.

Witnesses at a nearby car boot sale described seeing the balloon strike an electricity pylon then shoot up into the air, before descending rapidly.

The BBAC said the balloon - which took off from the Obelisk Centre in Kingsthorpe - was privately owned and it was not a commercial flight.

The spokeswoman said: “As with all incidents involving aircraft, a report will be sent to the AAIB for consideration. This will look at all aspects of the flight and eventually a report will be published.

“As with all activities, sometimes things do not go quite as planned. Balloon related incidents such as this are very rare and the investigation will establish what happened.

“Hot air ballooning remains one of the safest forms of aviation.