Safety Fear After The Hot Air Balloons Land In Public Areas

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GEORGETOWN, Feb 22 – Hot air balloons are landing in the wrong places and this is making residents see red. They fear members of the public will get hurt in these incidents. Photographs of the second incident, which took place in what used to be a former rubber factory in Paya Terubong here, have gone viral on social media.

A day earlier, a hot air balloon took off from the Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta ground in Padang Polo and caused a stir when it landed in a cemetery in Air Itam. Former Bukit Bendera MCA division vice-chairman Tan Khai Beng voiced his concern over the matter on his Facebook account.

“Today and yesterday, the hot air balloons landed in a cemetery and a former rubber factory. “Who knows where these hot air balloons will land next? “What if they land at the airport, causing runway accidents which could be fatal? “Or if they land in the middle of a busy road, leading to accidents?” he said when contacted.

Tan also questioned who would bear the responsibility should fatalities take place due to such accidents. AKA Balloon Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Izzati Khairuddin claimed the matter was a non-issue as participants had been forewarned of such incidents.

She said it was considered normal for hot air balloons to land wherever it was considered safe. “All precautionary measures have been taken. An emergency team will tail the hot air balloon. “Should any untoward incident happen, the emergency team will quickly remove the deflated hot air balloon from the site.

“Such landings are absolutely normal and there is really nothing to worry about,” she assured when contacted. The two-day fiesta, which started at 9am yesterday, saw hundreds of people thronging the Polo Grounds to experience the balloon ride. The event ends today at 6pm.

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