Tourist killed in balloon accident

A group of 23 Indian tourists was in the balloon at the time of the accident Keystone

An Indian tourist was killed on Friday during a ride in a hot-air balloon at the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne.

This content was published on July 23, 2004 - 19:39

Several other passengers were injured when a strong wind knocked the balloon into a wall of the museum building.

The local authorities said the Indian woman died from her injuries after being thrown from the balloon when it hit the wall.

Other members of the tour group who were injured were taken to hospital for treatment. However, none of them was seriously hurt.

The authorities say the museum may have been at fault for misjudging the strength of the wind, and allowing balloon trips to go ahead.

Wrong decision

"There certainly is a possibility that a wrong decision was made" about whether the ride should have been allowed to proceed, the museum's deputy director, Henry Wydler, told Swiss radio DRS.

The accident is under investigation, officials said.

It was the first accident with the balloon known as the “Hiflyer” since it opened in 2000.

Anchored to the ground by a steel cable, it is a popular attraction at the museum since it rises to 140 metres, giving museum-goers a view over Lucerne and the lake.

It was the second recently involving Indian tourists in Switzerland.

In September 2000, seven members of an Indian group were killed when two sightseeing helicopters collided in southern Switzerland.

swissinfo, with agencies

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