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Australia: Man falls to death from hot-air balloon

March 18, 2024

The body of a man who fell down from a hot-air balloon was found in a suburban area in Melbourne. The balloon landed safely several miles away. Australian police are not treating the death as suspicious.

A Balloons Man trailer is seen after the discovery of a man s body at Yarra Bend Park in the suburb of Fairfield in Melbourne
These balloon baskets are meant to be designed to prevent people from accidentally falling outImage: Diego Fedele/AAP/IMAGO

A man fell from a hot-air balloon that was passing over the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, Australian news agency AAP reported on Monday.

The balloon was up in the air 30 minutes before the incident occurred in the northern suburbs of the city. The balloon landed safely 5 miles (8 kilometers) away from the site of the body, the report said.

After the body was found in a residential area, Victoria state police announced that they would prepare a report for the coroner. 

AAP quoted police as saying that the death is not being treated as suspicious.

Emergency services are seen after the discovery of a man s body on Albert Street in the suburb of Preston in Melbourne.
The body was found in the suburb of Preston in Melbourne while the balloon landed, around 5 miles (8 kilometers) away, safely in Yarra Bend Park in the suburb of FairfieldImage: Diego Fedele/AAP/IMAGO

Balloons 'designed with safety in mind'

"Passengers and the pilot are understandably traumatized by this," said a joint statement by the National Commercial Hot Air Ballooning Industry and the Australian Ballooning Federation. 

The pilot and passengers of the hot-air balloon have been offered psychological support, according to the statement. 

"Hot-air balloon baskets are designed with safety in mind, specifically to prevent passengers from falling out accidentally or from any accidental exit," the federation added, while expressing condolences for the man's family and friends.

as/fb (dpa, AP)