Elderly woman dies in hot-air balloon tragedy

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The Independent Online
An elderly woman was killed and 12 people were injured yesterday when a hot air balloon crashed into power lines and its passenger basket plunged 30ft to the ground before burst ing into flames.

Onlookers watched in horror as the wicker basket became detached from the balloon and crashed into a field where a gas cylinder it was carrying exploded.

The dead woman, who was celebrating her birthday with the balloon ride, was last night named as Audrey Jones, 75, from Hessle, Humberside. She was in the balloon with her son and grandson who were only slightly hurt in the crash. The balloon took off from nearby Hesslewood Hall but was unable to maintain its height. A lifeboat was launched as the pilot of the balloon attempted an emergency landing on edge of the River Humber, but it took off again, narrowly missing trees before crashing into the power lines at the riverside village of North Ferriby. Six of the injured were taken to Hull Royal Infirmary by helicopter and the rest by ambulance. Among the four seriously injured were a woman with spinal injuries and a man with burns and a suspected fractured skull.