Hot air balloon full of fireworks explodes midair during festival in Myanmar

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An exploding hot air balloon fell 300 feet onto a crowd of spectators during the Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights in Myanmar. (Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)

A hot air balloon packed with pyrotechnics exploded over a crowd during a popular festival in Myanmar, sending revelers running for cover.

The frightening scene unfolded Nov. 14 during the Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights, an annual celebration that marks the end of the wet season in Myanmar. According to local media reports, festival organizers invite participants to launch unmanned balloons full of fireworks to usher in a new season.

One of those balloons burst into flames during Wednesday's festival. Video shot by a spectator showed the balloon slowly ascending while fireworks shoot from its sides. In an instant, the balloon exploded, sending fireworks shooting toward the ground as the balloon came crashing down toward the crowd.

At least nine people were injured in the incident, festival organizers told the BBC. Though this particular explosion was not a fatal accident, similar incidents in years past have reportedly resulted in multiple fatalities.
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u.s. & worldexplosionballoonfireworkshot air balloon crashaccident