Two killed in hot air balloon crash

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Two men were killed when a hot air balloon crashed near a country club in Somerset

A hot air balloon on a high-altitude flight lost control and plummeted to the ground, killing both occupants, emergency services have said.

The accident occurred shortly after 9.30am on Saturday morning close to the grounds of a golf club in Midsomer Norton, near Bath, Somerset.

A ground crew tracking the balloon lost sight of the aircraft in the clouds shortly before it came down, according to Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

Two men were pronounced dead at the scene. No other aircraft were thought to be involved in the accident and no one on the ground was injured.

It is thought that the occupants of the balloon were attempting to ascend to 20,000ft when something went wrong, causing the balloon to fall rapidly.

Sarah Allen, spokeswoman for Avon Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We believe the balloon was attempting a high-altitude flight. It was being monitored by Bristol Air Traffic Control.

“They had a ground crew with them that lost the balloon in the clouds.”

She added that family members of the two victims in the balloon were among the team attempting to follow the aircraft.

Emergency services started receiving calls about the incident at 9.47am.

Witnesses reported seeing the balloon plummet from the sky.

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