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Hot air balloon makes emergency landing in Pangasinan

Photos from the Facebook page of Angelo Almajano Bisarra Jr. show residents helping the pilot of a hot air balloon, which took off from Pampanga province and made an emergency landing at a cornfield in Alcala town in Pangasinan province.

DAGUPAN CITY — A hot air balloon made an unexpected landing on Tuesday morning (April 9) at a cornfield in the Pangasinan town of Alcala, police said.

The balloon took off from Pampanga province and descended at Barangay (village) San Juan about 7:30 a.m., guided down by a pilot who was not identified but who was presumed to be an American.

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The pilot informed residents that strong winds blew his balloon northward, prompting him to make an emergency landing, said Police Chief Master Sergeant Marcos Bautista, Alcala police investigator.

The pilot was fetched by men who drove in two pick-up trucks to San Juan some 20 minutes later.

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It was not clear from where in Pampanga the balloon took off. On April 5 to 7, a balloon festival was held at Lubao town in Pampanga which is about 130 kilometers from Alcala.

Bautista said residents, who were planting corn at the time, said the pilot spoke Filipino when he yelled down to ask for permission to land. He said the farmers immediately consented, fearful that the balloon would snag the transmission lines nearby.

In a Facebook post, Angelo Almajano Bisarra Jr. said village residents immediately helped the pilot carry the balloon’s wicker basket and fold its envelope.

It was not the first time a hot air balloon landed in the town. On Jan. 15, 2017, a hot air balloon landed in neighboring San Vicente village, according to Russel Pascua in a Facebook post.

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