Record-breaking gas balloon odyssey ends in emergency landing in Labrador

Record-breaking gas balloon odyssey ends in emergency landing in Labrador

LABRADOR CITY, N.L. — Rescue officials are working to recover a gas balloon from woods near the Quebec-Labrador border after a record-shattering balloon odyssey across the continent ended in an emergency landing in the remote region.

Joe Power, fire chief of the Labrador City Fire Rescue, says attempts are underway to free the gas balloon from an isolated ridge about a kilometre from Lake Lorraine.

Two Swiss pilots taking part in a gas balloon distance race landed near the northern Quebec border after travelling 3,666 kilometres from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Power says when he received a call from Switzerland Tuesday morning about the emergency landing he thought it was a prank.

But after confirming the landing with the America’s Challenge race marshal, Power says the fire department worked quickly with the province, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and officials at the nearby Wabush mine to co-ordinate a rescue.

He says the Swiss pilots were rescued by helicopter Tuesday morning but recovering the large air balloon has proven more difficult.

The Canadian Press

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