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Mon, Jun 20, 2011

Five Hurt In MN Balloon Accident

Pilot Edward Chapman Most Seriously Injured When Balloon Went Down

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.

FMI: www.balloonridesminnesota.com

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