Balloon mystery

PENNY WARDLE
Last updated 16:23 04/01/2013

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A report of a burning hot air balloon drifting above Blenheim this morning sparked a fire brigade and police callout.

Blenheim chief fire officer Rob Dalton said three people reported a balloon and basket on fire blowing towards the Wither Hills about 11.30am.However, the fire brigade and police could not find any trace of the balloon, Mr Dalton said.

The three people who reported the mystery sighting had been together on Selwyn St, in Witherlea, when they saw the balloon drift overhead.Staff at the Woodbourne control tower at Marlborough Airport did not know of any hot air balloons in the air, Mr Dalton said.Marlborough Aero Club chief flying instructor Travers Tennant said four students in the air at the time did a search but did not see any evidence of a burnt balloon.

''Anything burning or a balloon would be very obvious,'' Mr Tennant said.

The easterly wind at the time of the siting would have pushed a balloon straight up the Wairau Valley, Mr Tennant said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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