Pilot Edward Chapman Most Seriously Injured When Balloon Went
World record-holding balloon pilot Edward Chapman was reported
to be seriously injured Thursday evening during a landing
attempt just southwest of Minneapolis. Four other people on board
were slightly injured.
The balloon went down just before 2100 local time in Lexington
Township. Chapman's company Balloon Ascensions Unlimited owns the
aircraft. Chapman was attempting the landing due to "increasing
winds and the onset of darkness," according to the Le Sueur County
Sheriff's Office. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that a wind
gust caused the balloon to strike a ditch, and Chapman was thrown
from the basket. He reportedly suffered a head injury, cracked
vertebrae, and other cuts and bruises as he was "dragged across
pavement" possibly entangled in the balloon's lines.
The paper said the balloon continued about 350 yards across a
field before eventually coming to a stop.
Chapman was treated at North Memorial Hospital, and was most
recently reported to be in fair condition.