Hot-air balloon hits power lines at Wellingborough trapping three

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Media captionAdam Griffiths described the moment the balloon crashed

A hot-air balloon crashed into power lines in Northamptonshire, trapping a woman and two men 15m in the air.

The balloon's canopy wrapped round live cables just after 18:00 BST on Sunday, at Bozeat near Wellingborough.

Firefighters had to wait about four hours before receiving confirmation the power was off and beginning the rescue.

By 23:30 the three people had been brought safely back to the ground. They were treated by ambulance staff for minor injuries including burns.

'Quite a bang'

Relatives gathered at the site ahead of the rescue attempt.

The pilot, 18-year-old Adam Griffiths, said: "We were coming in to approach a playing field but unfortunately we hit the power lines, which went with quite a bang.

Image caption Adam Griffiths, 18, was piloting the balloon

"I'm not entirely sure how it happened, it's all a bit of a blur to be honest.

"We are all a bit cold from staying up there for so long and there are also a few minor specks of burns, but we are all fine.

"Things do go through your mind when you are stuck up there about what could have happened, but the main thing is that we are back down here and safe."

It took about 40 minutes for firefighters to complete the rescue once the power had been isolated.

Robin Porter, from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue, said: "We had to wait until the power lines had been earthed before we could carry out the rescue.

"The electric company will continue to work over the next few hours to get the balloon away from the power lines before the electricity can be switched back on."

UK Power Networks said two customers, who take electricity directly from the high-voltage network, lost power due to the incident.

A spokesman for the firm said: "We had engineers on site, working in conjunction with the neighbouring electricity distribution company, shortly after the collision.

"We also worked with the emergency services to ensure the lines were safe before the occupants of the basket could be brought down."

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has begun an inquiry into the crash.

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