Emergency crews on site as hot air balloon suffers ‘hard landing’ north-east of Melbourne
Seven people have been injured after a hot air balloon had a hard landing north-east of Melbourne.
Some of the passengers were thrown from the basket when the balloon landed in a field in Dixons Creek.
Seven of the 16 passengers on board the hot air balloon suffered injuries and were taken to hospital.
Injuries range from back injuries, ankle fractures and neck injuries.
Caller Mark told 3AW Breakfast the hot air balloon came down in a field.
“Because it was about 500 metres from me, I couldn’t really see, but I could see something wasn’t right,” he said.
An unexpected southwesterly wind change is said to have disrupted the landing.
The hot air balloon with 16 on board took off from Templestowe, planning to travel south west to Moorabbin this morning.
But the hot air balloon, along with several others, ended up some 40 kilometres off course in the Yarra Valley.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating.
Professional Ballooning Association of Australia’s Damian Crock says “highly unusual atmospheric conditions” contributed to the incident.
“In most cases we have very very clear idea of where we are heading, this morning was quite unusual,” he said.
He said the pilot had more tan 30 years experience.
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