Advertisement

Man dies falling from hot air balloon above Melbourne suburb

Emergency crews arrived at the scene and cordoned off the road with motorists told to avoid the area.

A man has died after falling from a hot air balloon above a quiet residential suburb in Melbourne this morning. The balloon was airborne above Albert Street in Preston, in the city's northeast at the time of the incident, at about 7.30am.

Emergency responders were called after reports he had fallen from the balloon's basket while it hovered above the area. Police have revealed investigators are not treating the death as suspicious.

The "traumatised" passengers and pilot that were also on board will be offered counselling in the wake of the tragedy, a spokesperson for the National Commercial Hot Air Ballooning Industry and Australian Ballooning Federation confirmed.

The scene on Preston Street in Melbourne where a man plunged to his death from a hot air balloon.
A neighbour said his brother heard a “loud bang” before the sound of sirens filled the suburban street. Source: NCA Newswire
Several hot air balloons were out across Melbourne city on Monday as seen here in this aerial view.
Several hot air balloons were out across Melbourne city on Monday. Source: 7 News

"Passengers and the pilot are understandably traumatised by this tragedy and the operator is arranging psychological support and counselling for all affected," the spokesperson told 9 News.

"Hot air balloon baskets are designed with safety in mind, specifically to prevent passengers from falling out accidentally or from any accidental exit. As this matter is now subject to investigations by Victoria Police, WorkSafe Victoria, Air Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) it is not appropriate to comment further."

The male victim is believed to have landed somewhere on the street beneath, which has since been cordoned off. He died at the scene.

The balloon made an emergency landing in the Yarra Bend Park shortly after the fall took place. Albert Street remains closed in both directions between Wood Street and Murray Road.

Witness hears 'loud bang'

Authorities are speaking to the other occupants in the balloon and witnesses to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, Victoria Police said in a statement. SES crews and firefighters also rushed to the scene in a major emergency response.

The scene on Preston Street in Melbourne where a man plunged to his death from a hot air balloon.
Power lines were strewn across the road and a white sheet was laid on the footpath. Source: NCA Newswire

Power lines were seen strewn across the road and a white sheet was laid on the footpath.

A neighbour said his brother heard a "loud bang" before the sound of sirens filled the suburban street.

"I actually only heard the sirens, a lot of them," the neighbour told Today. "My brother heard like a loud bang, almost like something like a large item falling in your house. And it wasn’t until we heard all the sirens that we came out."

The scene on Preston Street in Melbourne where a man plunged to his death from a hot air balloon.
A person has fallen from a hot air balloon in Melbourne this morning. Source: 9News

Motorists have been told to avoid the area and follow the directions of emergency services.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

with NCA

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.