Mum and son's last moments before floating away on doomed hot air balloon

These are the final images of a mother and her young son who died at a crowded theme park after the helium-powered balloon they were sitting in floated away before plunging back to earth minutes later.

The accident happened at the Majiagou scenic area near the city of Yantai in East China’s Shandong Province on October 1 at the start of China’s National Day holiday.

Footage shows Ms Suo, 31, and her three-year-old son sitting side by side and secured with harnesses beneath the large helium balloon as it slowly rises.

Mother and child on hot air balloon in China before drifting into the sky and falling to their death.
The mother and child at the beginning of their journey, and in the sky just before falling to their deaths. Source: Australscope/AsiaWire

According to reports, the experience - offered for free as part of a $14 entrance ticket to the park - allows tourists to reach heights of 50 metres.

The gas balloon should have gone no higher due to the tethers anchoring the balloon to the ground, but video later showed the mother and son floating away after the balloon reportedly slipped from its moorings.

The pair were last seen alive as a tiny white speck in the sky as the balloon floats into the atmosphere.

Authorities said the helium balloon later ruptured in the sky, with Ms Suo and her son falling to their deaths.

The mum and son floated away after the balloon slipped its moorings. Source: Australscope/AsiaWire
The mum and son floated away after the balloon slipped its moorings. Source: Australscope/AsiaWire

Yantai police announced the arrest of five organisers on October 3, with tourism activity at the national park having since been suspended pending a formal inquiry.

A Majiagou scenic area staff member revealed to local media that police found the balloon rides to be unauthorised and illegal.

The park reportedly leases part of its grounds to the company for the activity, but it is unclear whether it also faces punishment for negligence as a result of the police’s findings.

It was unclear just how far Ms Suo and her son fell.


Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play and stay up to date with the latest news with Yahoo’s daily newsletter. Sign up here.