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Runaway balloon blamed for Florida power outage

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Jan. 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM

KISSIMMEE, Fla., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Utility officials in a Florida city said 339 customers lost electricity when a Mylar balloon collided with power lines.

The Kissimmee Utility Authority said 339 homes lost power Monday after the balloon, made from the metalized nylon substance Mylar, touched the power lines and caused damage.

The KUA said the incident happened in Kissimmee's Siesta Lago neighborhood and crews removed three other Mylar balloons from utility wires in the area Monday morning.

The KUA offered some safety tips for handling metallic balloons:

"Be sure to secure a helium-filled balloon with a weight heavy enough to prevent it from drifting away.

Never bundle metallic balloons together.

Keep metallic balloons indoors and never release them outside.

Never attach metallic streamers to any balloon, whether it's latex or metallic.

Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, or any foreign object, tangled in power lines. Instead, call KUA."

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