Hot air balloon bursts in Vietnam downpour

TN News

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A rainstorm tore down the expensive hot air balloon in the central resort town Nha Trang on Thursday.

Staff from the Hon Tam tourism company had moved the balloon, 22 meters in diameter, to five meters from the ground to shelter it from the rainstorm, but it was not spared and finally burst after wobbling for a while.

No passengers were using the balloon and thus no casualties or injuries were caused.

The Hon Tam company, which manages the town's Hon Tam Resort, bought the balloon from France for 1.2 million euros (US$1.57 million).

First flights were offered on Hon Tam Island in February 2010, and then the balloon was moved to a seashore park along Pham Van Dong Street in the town's mainland.

The balloon, managed by France-trained pilots, could hold up to 30 people at a time.

Passengers had to pay $10 for each 15-20 minute flight.

It had been serving 200-300 passengers every day.

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