Balloonists at festival fear for missing pilots

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The Independent US

Hundreds of balloons lifted off at the weekend at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, while search crews on the other side of the globe continued looking for two of the sport's most acclaimed pilots.

The veteran pilots Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis were taking part in a balloon race when contact was lost on Wednesday over the Adriatic Sea. Organisers said the two plunged toward the water at 50mph and probably did not survive. Kevin Knapp, deputy director of the America's Challenge race scheduled for Tuesday in Albuquerque, said the mood is more sombre than usual this year. Mr Abruzzo and Mr Davis are well known throughout the ballooning community.

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