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Passengers OK After Balloon Pilot Falls to Death

Trees saved them during Vermont accident
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2021 8:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – The pilot of a hot-air balloon fell to his death in Vermont, though his passengers survived the ordeal. The harrowing incident took place Thursday near the border of Vermont and New Hampshire, reports NBC News. Authorities say the balloon at some point descended into a field, but the landing was so rough that the basket tipped and one of four passengers fell out. At that point, the balloon began to rise again. "During this sequence, the pilot became entangled in gear affixed to the balloon as it re-ascended and ended up entrapped underneath the basket, where he eventually fell to the ground from a height," according to a statement from Vermont State Police.

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The unidentified pilot landed in a field, where he was pronounced dead at the scene, per WMUR. The pilot-less balloon continued on for another 1.5 miles but fortunately became entangled in a grove of trees in New Hampshire, say police. The three remaining passengers were able to climb down to safety. None of the four passengers were injured. (In Nevada, a passenger on a hot-air balloon had to figure out the controls after the pilot was ejected in a crash landing.)

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