Hot air balloon strikes powerlines in rural New South Wales

Brightly coloured hot air balloon in blue sky above powerlines
Image: Shutterstock

A hot air balloon struck active powerlines while landing in rural New South Wales on Sunday morning, cutting off electricity to 236 people in the Coomealla area.

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The hot air balloon was operating as part of the Big Balloon Bash Mildura festival.

The hot air balloon had been preparing to land when it struck powerlines above the Sturt Highway near Buronga in southern New South Wales.

Crews from NSW Fire and Rescue and NSW Rural Fire Service co-ordinated the rescue of the pilot and passenger, with electrical provider Essential Energy isolating the powerline.

The rescue took less than half an hour, and no injuries were reported.

An Essential Energy spokesperson said network protection activated automatically when the hot air balloon came into contact with the powerlines.

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An incident report will be prepared for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

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