Woman burnt in Northamptonshire hot-air balloon crash

media captionAn eyewitness filmed the moment the balloon came down

A hot-air balloon has crashed and burst into flames in a field, leaving a passenger with burns injuries.

The balloon came down at about 07:30 BST near the B573 at Earls Barton, Northamptonshire. Eyewitnesses reported seeing sparks as it passed an electricity pylon.

The 22-year old female passenger who suffered burns was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

The 64-year-old male pilot was not injured, police have said.

One eyewitness, Ian, said the balloon came close to a car-boot sale in Earls Barton.

He said: "We were at the car boot this morning at Whites Nursery and a hot-air balloon came over and there was a lady and gentleman - they were waving at everyone.

"It suddenly disappeared over towards the trees and then burst into flames and over towards the ground."

image copyrightEddie White
image captionThe balloon was photographed by one onlooker shortly before it crashed

Wendy Rousell, the secretary of the British Balloon and Airship Club, said incidents such as this were "very rare in the UK".

"There are 20 balloons in Northamptonshire and they can fly all over the county when weather permits, and this morning's conditions were perfect."

Police have handed the inquiry to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

At the scene: BBC Northampton reporter Kris Holland

The balloon came down near a car-boot sale at Whites Nurseries in Earls Barton and those who saw it say they saw blue sparks as it hit power cables.

I've been told that after this, the balloon was seen to catch fire and plummet around 100ft through the air into the field.

Some eyewitnesses said the pair were throwing gas canisters out of the balloon's basket as it crashed.

image copyrightBBC
image captionThe balloon came down at about 07:30 near the B573 at Earls Barton

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