Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Why Are So Many Children Dying in Gaza?'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Seleka calls for partition

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Netherlands holds day of mourning for victims of flight MH17

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Eleven killed in New Zealand hot air balloon accident

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-07

Eleven people were killed in a hot air balloon accident in New Zealand on Saturday after the vessel crashed near Carterton, a small town just north of the capital Wellington, an area popular for hot air ballooning.

AFP - All 11 people on board a hot air balloon which crashed in a ball of flames in New Zealand Saturday were killed, police and medical officials said.

Police confirmed there were "multiple deaths", and a local district health board spokeswoman Jill Stringer said none of the 11 people on board the balloon survived.

The hot air balloon went down near Carterton, a small town just north of the capital Wellington and a popular area for hot air ballooning.

Police said there was no immediate indication of what caused the early morning tragedy which occurred in fine weather with minimal wind.

However, one witness, David McKinlay, told reporters he looked up to see one side of the basket on fire and "all of a sudden there was just 10 metres of flames".

"It was like a rocket coming down; it was just unbelievable," he said.

McKinlay, who alerted the emergency services, said the balloon was about 150 metres in the air when it plummeted to the ground.

Another witness told Fairfax News he was looking out of his window when he saw the balloon appear to hit a power cable.

"The people were enjoying a nice ride and by the looks of it they clipped a power wire," he said.

"Then I heard the screams and looked out the window and heard it coming down. I was having my breakfast and I heard them. They sounded like screams of joy but they weren't.

"It wasn't coming from a great deal of height. I ran down the road to see if I could help but by that stage it was too late. it was just burned out. By the time the emergency services got there, there wasn't much of a chance."

Two of the passengers are believed to have leaped from the burning basket and were found in a nearby paddock.

Police say they were first alerted to the tragedy at 7:26 am (1826 GMT Friday) and websites for ballooning companies in Carterton, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) north of Wellington, recommend early morning flights.

Reporters at the scene said the crash site has been cordoned off and only emergency workers and the families of those on board the balloon are being allowed through.
 

Date created : 2012-01-06

COMMENT(S)