Balloon in Calif. park down indefinitely

July 2, 2012 at 4:21 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

IRVINE, Calif., July 2 (UPI) -- A giant helium balloon in a California park will be grounded until further notice after a similar balloon injured several riders in Hong Kong, officials said.

The France-based company Aerophile, which manufactured the balloons in Orange County Great Park and Hong Kong's Ocean Park, has requested that the balloon in California stay grounded until it can be inspected, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported.

On Thursday, the Hong Kong balloon sprang a leak and fell about 200 feet to the ground, injuring five people, officials said.

Great Park spokesman Marcus Ginnaty said Sunday said the balloon in Great Park, which has the capacity to take 25 passengers up 400 feet in the air, was being shut down out of an "abundance of caution," not because of any identified concerns.

"It's not going to be rushed," Ginnaty said of the inspection. "Everything is going to be done very thoroughly, and we'll work closely with the manufacturer to make a determination" on when to reopen it.

Trending Stories