Hot Air Balloons Collide in Mid-Air
2 tourists dead in Turkey accident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2013 1:50 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Two hot air balloons collided in mid-air during a sightseeing tour of volcanic rock formations in Turkey and crashed to the ground today, killing two Brazilian tourists and injuring 23 other people on board. The accident occurred above central Turkey's Cappadocia region, when an ascending balloon struck another balloon's wicker basket above it, causing a tear in the balloon's fabric and sending it plunging to the ground. A tourist who witnessed the accident from another balloon said the crash occurred some 45 minutes after as many as 100 balloons had taken off for the early morning tour.

"We could hear the radio chatter and we knew something was happening. There was a frantic urgent transmission: 'Release your parachute! Release your parachute!'" he recalls. "[The balloon] was probably some 300 meters in the air and it descended increasingly rapidly to the ground. There was a large tear in the fabric, probably some 10 to 15 meters long." The owner of the tour company says it appeared that one of the tourists had died of a heart attack; an official says the second person died in hospital. They were aged 71 and 65. The passengers on board the balloon that crashed were mostly tourists from Brazil, Argentina, and Spain; many had fractured bones.

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May 21, 2013 6:12 PM CDT
Don' see any Vietnamese goin' up in hot air ballons Too much like wartime helicopter interrogations- (Tell us what you know or its out the door,OK?)
May 20, 2013 11:40 AM CDT
You'd think with radios the pilots would all be aware of where the other pilots are generally located.
May 20, 2013 10:04 AM CDT
I'd like to see what the guidelines , regulations, and testing procedures are for these companies that use hot air balloons in the tourist trade. 19 out of 21 people just died a few months ago in Egypt when their hot air ballon crashed. Quick way to make a buck. Just pay off the right people and up up and away.