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Man dies after falling from hot air balloon in northern Israel

Man dies after falling from hot air balloon in northern Israel
According to officials, the man lost his grip and fell about 300 feet onto Route 60 near Afula, Israel. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Authorities say a young man died on Tuesday in northern Israel after he was apparently picked up by a hot air balloon, lost his grip and fell hundreds of feet to the ground.

Investigators said the man, Yogev Cohen, was a member of the hot air balloon crew, but was not supposed to be on the airship when it left the ground.

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Officials said the pilot attempted to quickly return to the ground when he saw Cohen, 28, clinging to the side, but was unable to do so before he fell about 300 feet to the ground.

The balloon's gondola, or basket, was carrying about a dozen people when the accident occurred. No one else was hurt.

Israel's Civil Aviation Authority is investigating Cohen's death and police are trying to find out why he was anywhere near the balloon when it left the ground.

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