Sat, January 07, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific

Air balloon crash kills 11 in New Zealand

2012-01-07 06:29:24 GMT2012-01-07 14:29:24(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

A forensic photographer photographs the scene of a hot air balloon crash near Caterton about 70km (43 miles) north east of New Zealand's capital city Wellington January 7, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

Wellington District Commander, Superintendent Mike Rusbatch (front) and Wairarapa Area Commander, Inspector Brent Register hold a news conference near the scene of a hot air balloon crash near Caterton about 70km (43 miles) north east of New Zealand's capital city Wellington January 7, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- A hot air balloon has crashed and killed at least 11 people on board near Carterton town in New Zealand.

The accident happened in clear, bright early morning conditions with minimal wind. The balloon struck power lines that set a fire on board, causing the balloon to crash in farmland.

Two people leaped from the burning basket. But neither survived. The fatal balloon crash is the worst in New Zealand since 1979.

Resources say there were five couples on board from the Wellington region, a place well known for its hot air ballooning. Local authority is looking into the cause of accident.

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