NINE people were injured in a hot air balloon crash after the pilot was ejected and passengers were dragged for miles before falling into a forest.
Rescue workers raced to the scene of the accident in the hilly Bucklige Welt near the Alps on Saturday morning.
Four injured passengers were found in the rural town of Untereck – the other five three miles away near Stang.
According to the Austrian newspaper The Kurier, the crash happened when the balloon was about to land in a meadow.
The balloon is believed to have descended too quickly, bouncing off the ground and knocking four people – including the pilot and co-pilot – out of the basket.
The four were towed a few meters before the balloon rocketed back into the air – still with five passengers.
The pilot is said to have explained to the passengers in the air by telephone how to carry out an emergency landing.
The balloon eventually came down in a forest three miles away, with images showing the red-and-white plane shredding through the trees.
Two seriously injured passengers – a 33-year-old and a 60-year-old – were airlifted to the hospital.
The cause of the crash is still unclear at this time.
Prosecutors in Wiener Neustadt have reportedly launched an investigation into the hot air balloon company.
A spokesman said he “didn’t want to speculate” about the cause.
According to the Red Cross, four rescue vehicles were sent to the scene.
Last year, five people died after a gust of wind blew a hot air balloon into power lines in New Mexico, United States.
In 2020, three people died and a child was injured in Germany after a plane hit a hot air balloon and then crashed into an apartment building in the town of Wesel, north of Dusseldorf.
And last month, two people died and three others were injured after a balloon crash-landed in Turkey.
The Spanish victims were killed after the accident in the popular tourist spot of the central Cappadocia region.
There were 28 tourists and two crew members on board when the balloon crashed after touring volcanic rock formations.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6663837/nine-hurt-alps-balloon-crash/ Nine injured in horror Alps balloon crash as pilot dumped and screaming passengers were dragged miles before hitting trees