Multicolored hot air balloons are a beautiful sight to see. Many of us have probably wondered what it would be like to peacefully sail across the sky in one, as if we didn't have a care in the world. So it's painfully tragic to hear the news that one person is dead and two are still missing after their hot air balloon caught fire, exploded, and crashed in Virginia yesterday. The accident took place during the popular Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival and witnesses report they not only saw the balloon go up in flames, but heard its three passengers crying for help.
The balloon was one of three that took off at the same time on Friday night. Two of the balloons were successfully able to land a short time later, but the third had nearly landed safely when it collided with a power line. A fire reportedly broke out and the pilot tried to open up the top of the balloon to stop it from spreading.
But the balloon just shot up into the sky instead, where it exploded and crashed. People on the ground say they saw the explosion and heard voices screaming, "Help me, help me, sweet Jesus, help I'm going to die. Oh my God, I'm going to die." One witness says she saw someone falling out of the basket.
Just horrific. Authorities can confirm they have found the remains of one body, but are still searching for the two remaining passengers.
The festival is one that hot air balloon aficionados look forward to all year, and it brings joy to an entire community. After this tragedy, the event was, naturally, cancelled. We wish the families of the 3 passengers peace at this extremely difficult time.
Have you ever travelled in a hot air balloon?
Image via Instagram