Pilot injured in Ohio after hot air balloon crashes into power line, catches fire

Posted at 8:35 PM, Jul 28, 2018

CANTON, Ohio — Two hot air balloons made unexpected landings in Ohio on Saturday.

According to the Canton Fire Department, the first balloon caught fire after crashing into a high tension power line and a street light on Marion Avenue Southwest and 4th Street in Canton, Ohio around 8:45 p.m. Authorities said the balloon was occupied by a single male pilot. The pilot suffered minor burns and refused treatment at the scene, according to the fire department. The Canton Fire Prevention Bureau is investigating the cause of the crash. 

Another balloon landed about half-an-hour earlier in the area of Tuscarawas Street East and Belden Avenue Southeast. A witness on scene said he saw the balloon drift toward the tree line and was afraid the balloon would strike the power lines. The witness said the pilot was able to land the balloon safely in a yard, and no one appeared to be injured. 

The Canton Fire Department said they were not called to the scene where the second balloon landed.

Both balloons are believed to be from the Pro Football Hall of Fame's annual Balloon Classic which has been a staple in the community for years. The event began on Friday and runs until Sunday. 

According to a spokesperson for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, only the incident involving the balloon crashing into a power line and street light was of concern. The spokesperson claims no one was injured and there was only minor property damage.

The spokesperson also said the balloons' flight is based on wind direction and the pilots' abilities to find a safe place to land. The FAQ page of the Balloon Classic supports this statement, saying the balloons' locations is 100 percent based on the winds. "Pilots are briefed on wind speed and direction before each flight, which dictates where they will take off and land," the website said.

According to a spokesperson from the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, it is not uncommon for balloons to land in yards.