Hot air balloon deflates mid-flight near power lines in the Tasman District

A hot air balloon deflated mid-flight on Wednesday morning, coming down next to a set of power lines in the area of Moutere in the Tasman District.

Emergency services were called to the incident, fearing the worst. 

"I got a call at about 8am from an observer who saw a balloon come down next to lines in the Moutere area," Robert Derks, Network Tasman Operations Manager, told Newshub.

As it deflated the 3000 cubic-metre balloon draped across three high-voltage power lines.

"They were 66-thousand volt lines - if things had been a little differently, there could have been a flashover which could have caused some injury and damage," said Derks.

The three passengers and pilot were able to escape unharmed.

The NZ$100,000 balloon, which features photographic images of Abel Tasman, was made in Europe and has been flying in the region since October last year.

The pilot declined to speak to Newshub - but the power network team says there's no denying how fortunate the pilot and his passengers are.

"It's a pretty unusual event, obviously it was a pretty close call - a really lucky escape for those involved," Derks told Newshub.

Power was switched off to the lines as crews spent the afternoon removing the balloon.


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