Wind sparks chaos at hot air balloon fest as crowd crushed by falling aircraft

A terrified crowd of 60,000 stampeded after hot air balloon baskets crashed into them following high winds, leaving 12 injured.

The incident took place at the International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Leon, Guanajuato State, Mexico, on November 19 while the crowd was waiting for DJs Martin Garrix and Tiesto to perform.

People were battered and bruised after the baskets hit them, with some festival-goers reportedly suffering from nervous breakdowns too.

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Six of the injured were taken to the private Hospital La Luz for check-ups to rule out any serious injuries.

The other six arrived at hospital later due to bad traffic.

All have since been discharged.

Some of the hot air balloons did not take off as planned the following day due to adverse weather conditions.

Last year, a hot air balloon crashed into a house roof and knocked over the water tank as passengers screamed in terror at the same festival.

That was on the second day of the festival. Fortunately, no one was injured.

In an official statement the festival organisers said that "the activity of ballooning always depends on the weather conditions".

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It also said the crew on the hot air balloon were unharmed in the incident, adding: "The people involved are in perfect condition and we are in contact with the owners of the house."

In the US state of New Mexico five people were killed in a hot air balloon accident last year.

It later transpired that the pilot, one of the dead, had marijuana and cocaine in his system at the time of the crash.

Nicholas Meleski and four others aboard the hot air balloon that struck a power line, caught fire and crashed into a busy street on June 26 in Albuquerque.


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