2012 Ljubljana Marshes hot air balloon crash
|Date||23 August 2012CEST (05:54 UTC), 7:54 am|
|Site||Ljubljana Marshes in the Municipality of Ig, between Lavrica, Črna Vas and Ig, 7 km south of Ljubljana, Slovenia
|Aircraft type||Hot air balloon|
A hot air balloon carrying 32 passengers, mostly tourists, crashed and caught fire during a thunderstorm on the Ljubljana Marshes, in the Municipality of Ig, between Lavrica, Črna Vas and Ig, next to Ig Street (Ižanska cesta), two hundred meters from the turn for Matena, seven kilometres south of Ljubljana. A sudden weather change caused the pilot to try to land immediately. However, the emergency landing was thwarted by wind shear and the balloon hit nearby trees. Fire followed.
Four people on board were killed during the accident and twenty eight others were injured. The four dead at the scene were charred beyond recognition. All four were from Ljubljana: a couple, their 11-year-old daughter and a 56-year-old woman. Ten people had to be resuscitated. All of the survivors, aged from about 10 to about 60 years, received medical care: 21 of them at the Ljubljana University Medical Centre, five in the Novo Mesto Hospital, one in the Jesenice Hospital and one in the Celje Hospital. Two critically injured men- the pilot and another man from Ljubljana- were later transported to the Maribor University Clinical Centre. Two of the injured people were British and another two were Italian citizens. A fifth victim died of her injuries two weeks later in Ljubljana and the sixth victim, a 59-year-old man from Ljubljana, a few days later in Maribor.
Specifics of the balloon
The basket of the balloon was 5.20 meters (17.1 feet) long and 1.70 metres (5 feet 7 inches) wide. It had four compartments. Its inertia was 19 tonnes (19 long tons; 21 short tons). The balloon was manufactured by the Lindstrand Balloons company. It was the largest balloon in the country and the largest serially manufactured balloon in the world.
Slovene Civil Aviation Agency reported on 27 August 2012 that commercial hot air balloon flights were banned temporarily. The duration of the ban was not given, but the reason for the ban was cited as the balloon crash.
On the same day at 7:00 pm, a mass was held in St. Michael's Church on the Marshes in Črna Vas by Anton Jamnik, the auxiliary Bishop of Ljubljana, for the dead and injured. It was attended by about 400 people.
- "Množična nesreča zaradi strmoglavljenja balona (23.8.2012)" [Mass Disaster due to a Balloon Crash (23 August 2012)] (in Slovenian). Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, Ministry of Defence, Republic of Slovenia.
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- "Nesreča balona: Tragedijo naj bi povzročilo striženje vetra pri tleh, pilot brez veljavnega dovoljenja" [The Balloon Crash: The Tragedy Was Presumably Caused by Wind Shear near the Ground, the Pilot Did not Have a Valid License] (in Slovenian). Dnevnik.si. 23 August 2012.
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- "Pilot drugega balona: Preverjali smo vreme, ni bilo videti neviht ali drastičnih vetrov" [The Pilot of the Second Balloon: We Were Checking out the Weather, There Were no Storms or Drastic Winds] (in Slovenian). 24ur.com. 23 August 2008.