Passengers describe dramatic hot air balloon landing in south Norwich

Passengers of a hot air balloon that had to make a dramatic landing in Cringleford last night have spoken of the surreal experience.

The balloon made an unscheduled landing close to Round House Way shortly after 6.30pm, because of a lack of wind.

With 16 passengers aboard, the balloon had taken off from nearby Bluebell Road but the pilot decided to make an early landing.

The balloon flew very low over houses in Cringleford and drew a crowd of interested residents.

Michelle Martin, 46, from Kessingland, was one of the alarmed passengers aboard the balloon. She said: 'The trip was a surprise birthday present from my boyfriend Nick, who was also on the flight, and what a surprise it turned out to be!

'It was all very calm and there was no panic. We were so low over the houses we could speak to the tenants. At one point a passenger was able to shout and get Liverpool's football result.'

The landing was completed safely, less than a mile from the busy Thickthorn roundabout at the top of the A11 and power lines in nearby fields.

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Although the balloon landed very close to Round House Way, close to the junction with the A11 Newmarket Road, it did not cause an obstruction to traffic.

These photos were posted on Twitter by Cringleford resident Andrew Stronach, who also said the balloon had flown so low that people on the ground could talk to passengers on board.

Jacquie Craske, 53, from Thorpe St Andrew, was enjoying her first ever hot air balloon ride before the nervous landing.

She said: 'It was quite good fun. I did think 'blimey we're getting a bit close to the houses' but it was all under control. It was funny because we had people shouting up from their barbecues saying 'do you want a burger?'.

'I've climbed Killimanjaro but I think I was more scared of this. I will probably do it again, but I might wait a little while.'

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Contact David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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