Israeli balloon crash death: Man falls from basket while waving

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The balloon was above a dense forest when the accident happened A balloon pilot has died after one of his passengers, a man, fell to his death after he…

Israeli balloon crash death: Man falls from basket while waving

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The balloon was above a dense forest when the accident happened

A balloon pilot has died after one of his passengers, a man, fell to his death after he waved to the basket before jumping from it.

The man, who was 24, fell from the balloon as it flew at around 2300 GMT on Sunday while over the Mount Carmel mountain range in Israel.

After the incident, an experienced balloon pilot who witnessed the incident rushed to the man’s aid before helping security forces to rescue him.

He is thought to have survived the fall, according to Israeli media.

Image copyright AP Image caption The incident happened during the second flight of the day, according to newspaper reports

The balloon was approaching a clearing on the mountain in Gush Etzion settlement bloc on the West Bank, in south-west Israel.

The pilot reportedly told his man to wave to the basket as they approached, and when he reached for it, the man fell towards the ground.

The balloon’s operator ran to his aid and called police after the man fell. He said he could hear a person asking for help.

Images published by local media showed that part of the basket was torn from the balloon – apparently from where the man had held on.

The local police chief later confirmed that the man fell to his death. His body was recovered.

Image copyright Gil Vigdor Image caption The wreckage of the balloon was found nearby

The second flight of the day was to take place shortly afterwards and the pilot was said to be able to finish the mission, but he decided to leave the area.

Israeli news reports said the investigation into the incident was ongoing and it was not known if the man had been able to open the hatch to secure himself in the basket.

Cranes were brought in to search the area as the accident scene was sealed off by the police.

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