Balloon crash knocks out power on Janesville's west side

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Gazette staff
Friday, April 13, 2012
— A hot-air balloon crashed on power lines around 7:15 p.m. Thursday, causing a short power outage for part of Janesville's west side.

No one was seriously injured. The balloon was draped on phone lines like a tent, with parts touching the grass at the edge of Bond Park, behind the Sunnyside Shopping Center.

The balloon belongs to the Janesville Hot Air Balloon Co. and was being operated by the owner, said acting Lt. Ron Bomkamp of the Janesville Fire Department. A passenger, a girl, declined treatment for a scrape.

The pilot was trying to land at Bond Park, as he often does, but came up short, Bomkamp said. He tried to go aloft again to clear the power lines, but as the balloon rose, it touched a power line, causing a short that popped the balloon.

The short also tripped a circuit breaker, causing a power outage from Crosby Avenue to Oakhill Avenue, Bomkamp said.

An Alliant Energy crew arrived on the scene at about 7:50 p.m. and helped the owner remove the balloon. Power was restored soon afterward.

Last updated: 8:09 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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