Orange County Great Park Balloon ride re-opens to public

IRVINE, Calif.

The helium balloon was grounded on June 29 after an accident in Hong Kong involving a similar balloon. That balloon began leaking and plunged about 200 feet to the ground. Five people were hurt.

Great Park officials say their balloon has been inspected and serviced by its manufacturer.

France-based manufacturer Aerophile sent inspectors to check out several balloons around the world with similar design.

Inspections were performed and technicians concluded the Great Park Balloon was in good condition and air-worthy. Out of precaution, the manufacturer's technicians made some enhancements to the Great Park Balloon and performed some regular maintenance, according to Great Park officials.

Flights resumed Thursday.

The Great Park's tethered balloon started offering rides in 2007, lifting passengers up 400 feet into the air. About 60,000 people come aboard every year.

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