Australia extends sympathies for balloon tragedy

Emergency services attend the scene of the crash. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age
Emergency services attend the scene of the crash. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age

Australian hot air ballooning groups say a report on the New Zealand ballooning disaster that killed 11 people on Saturday will provide safety tips for the industry.

The Professional Ballooning Association of Australia and the Australian Ballooning Federation say they are deeply saddened by the tragic events which occurred in New Zealand on Saturday morning.

The pilot and five couples on board were killed when the balloon hit power lines near Carterton and crashed to earth in flames this morning.

"Both organisations extend their deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved," the groups said in a joint statement on Saturday.

"The incident is currently being investigated by the New Zealand authorities. We will await their findings.

"We will scrutinise their report to see if any further improvements can be made to enhance the safety of Australian operations.

"We are proud of our safety record over the past 20 years and the Australian ballooning industry has developed a strong reputation for safety as today hot air ballooning in Australia is conducted under one of the world's most stringent regulatory regimes."

-AAP

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