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Old 08-25-2007, 06:20 PM   #1
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Hazelmere Campground site of accident

For those of you who participated in the Vintage Airstream get together at Hazelmere last July you will be familiar with that campground. As is typical of most of us, I'm sure some of you may have met the folks who run the park and as is often the case made friends with them. We tend to be a pretty friendly lot. I'm sure you would want to be aware of the following sad event.

Last night a hot air balloon filled with 13 people and just taking off nearby caught fire. As people evacuated the basket the balloon shot into the air above tree top level, still on flames. the ropes to the balloon burned through and as the basket fell it was now over the Hazelmere RV Park. It is believed a propane tank used on the balloon ruptured and shot into a trailer parked permanently at the park, which then caught fire as did two beside it, and a couple of cars and a truck. All totally destroyed.

No injuries for those in the campground but from the balloon several severely hurt (burns and injuries from jumping from the basket while in the air) and a woman and her adult daughter were unable to get out of the basket and perished.

We were about two miles away when it happened and did not know what was burning and thought it was an ultralight crash as there was one in the neighborhood recently. Then when ambulances and fire engines and police cars started to converge in significant numbers and they shut the roads down we knew it was something far worse.

A very sad event for the families involved, and unfortunate for those folks who's trailers were also destroyed although thankfully no one was in the trailers at the time, and also sad for the campground folks - the owners and the others who were camped there or reside there. A lot of trauma for a lot of folks.

The campground is getting a lot of press and hopefully folks won't take it that they were in any way at fault or that there is nothing left of it, or that it's in a dangerous area - this was just one of those fluke things that happen. We all know how stories get rolling, and this had nothing to do with them other than they were the place the sad event ended. It is a beautiful place, and I'm sure they will have recovered shortly.


Barry & Donna
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:21 PM   #2
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I heard this on CBC news this morning, Barry, and wondered if it had in fact happened at Hazelmere. There was no mention of which park, when I was listening, only that it was in South Surrey and that two people were reported missing. Such a sad turn of events. My thoughts go out to all involved, especially to the families of the mother and daughter who perished.

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Old 08-25-2007, 07:51 PM   #3
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We attended the BC - VAC rally at Hazelmere, a beautiful venue for the rally. Hazelmere is a fairly large park, spread out over several acres. So, the damage to the park was probably limited to the area of the three mobile homes.

While there, we watched the hot air balloons drift across the sky near the park every evening before dusk.

Here's the CBC link to the news: 2 people confirmed dead, 11 injured in B.C. balloon crash

Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy - it's a miracle that no one perished in the units on the ground.

As you said Barry, it is one of those fluke accidents - this is the first time in 21 years of operation that the balloon company had an accident.
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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Hello Barry - Yes, dramatic film footage on our national news tonight. Sympathies are due to all families involved, but surely this has a mighty impact on all witnessing this unfortunate event. Life is so fragile and hardy, all at the same time. Embrace those near and dear!

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Old 08-25-2007, 10:38 PM   #5
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Thanks Barry for letting us know of the accident. My thoughts are with everyone involved, and especially the people in the hot air balloon and their families.

The campground owners, staff, and residents were very welcoming and helpful during our rally - this accident would have been a shock to them all. It is unfortunate that with all the open areas around the campground that the propane tank came down on a group of mobile homes.
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Old 08-26-2007, 04:49 AM   #6
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wow..... you never know the moment do you.... sending good thoughts and sympathy to all involved.

After I wrote the above I heard this on the news in England....... sounds devastating

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Old 08-26-2007, 08:26 AM   #7
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What an awful freak accident! Glad it wasn't any worse, as the potential was sure there.

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Old 08-26-2007, 12:01 PM   #8
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Yes, as people come to realize what did happen, and what could have happened, there's a lot of thought going on. There were several large propane tanks that did not burst or the whole event could have been far worse.

I feel for some of the people. The two ladies who died were staying in the campground having arrived during the day on Friday is what I heard today but they were not confirming that. They were celebrating a family event of some type so many members of that group were watching as the whole thing unfolded. One woman, 56 years old, grabbed an 81 year old woman when they were about 50' up and pulled her out with her, saving them both, but they sure do have a lot of broken bones. They interviewed her last night and she was pretty upset that the pilot was out quickly and not fighting the fire or making sure everyone got out in the confusion. I imagine there will be a lot of questions happening over the next while.

What this does remind me though is that as SilverConnie noted one never knows when it's our time, so while we can, get out and get camping. Love your family and friends and let them know you do, and make every moment count.


Barry & Donna
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