WATCH: Moment hot air balloon crashes as passengers hold on

Terrified passengers say they were given no warning before their hot air balloon crash-landed in the Yarra Valley, leaving seven people in hospital.

The victims have criticised the safety briefing they were given before the craft came to grief in windy weather.

The ride had been marred from the start by bizarre weather conditions - but things were about to get worse for the pilot and 15 tourists.

Exclusive footage shows the hot air balloon slamming into the ground and bouncing across a paddock as its passengers hang on for dear life.

The hot air balloon crashes to the ground. Source: 7 News

It bounced along the ground, only coming to a stopped when the basket tipped over. Source: 7 News

The frightening ordeal only ended when the basket tipped, leaving people lying injured in the grass.

Cameron Rosie, onboard with his girlfriend Bianca, was amongst the casualties.

"It was just such a quick free-fall, but because I'd never done one before I didn't know what to expect," Bianca told Seven News.

"I guess we were coming down so quickly you expected it to slow down, but it didn't - it just slammed into the floor," Cameron said.

Cameron Rosie and his girlfriend Bianca were passengers. Source: 7 News

Cameron at the scene of the crash in the Yarra Valley. Source: 7 News

Cameron suffered a back injury and was taken to hospital after crawling out of the basket.

"We were both pretty dizzy and shaken up," Bianca said.

The balloon has been spotted flying low shortly before the crash.

"I thought it was almost touching my roof it was that low," witness Alex Inglese said. "It was very noisy - noisier than normal."

Paramedics called to the scene treated all the injured passengers in the paddock, with four men and three women taken to hospital.

Aged between 27 and 70 years old, the passengers were a mix of local and international visitors.

A woman is stretchered away after the accident. Source: 7 News

Passengers lay injured on the ground. Source: 7 News

"Quite a number of them were anxious about what had occurred and that's understandable," paramedic Ben Allen said.

Pilot Mark Fraser reported that conditions were calm upon takeoff, but the weather soon deteriorated and there were strong and unexpected winds upon landing.

"So there's a northerly above and a southerly below and where they intersect is where you can have turbulence," ballooning industry spokesman Damian Crock said.

"As a 30-year experienced pilot, he's done remarkably well under difficult circumstances."

Pilot Mark Fraser has 30 years of experience in ballooning. Source: 7 News

Three of the most seriously hurt passengers are recovering at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

They include a man in his 60s, a man in his 70s, and a woman in her 60s, all suffering a range of injuries to their ankles, necks and backs.

They are all in a stable condition but are expected to remain in hospital overnight.

The ballooning company, Go Wild Ballooning, has apologised to all of the injured passengers and the Transport Safety Bureau is now investigating exactly what caused the crash.

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