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This Day in History

Australian History

Sunday, August 13, 1989. :   Thirteen people die in the world's worst hot-air balloon crash to that date, near Alice Springs in central Australia.

     The hot-air balloon was invented in 1783 by brothers Etienne and Joseph Montgolfier. The first flight took place on 5 June 1783 in Paris, France. Ballooning gradually evolved from a unique form of transportation to a leisure-time activity enjoyed by tourists around the world.

The world's worst ballooning disaster to that date occurred on 13 August 1989, near Alice Springs in Australia's Northern Territory. Two tourist balloons were launched within minutes of each other, resulting in a mid-air collision. One balloon tore into the fabric of the other, which then plunged to the ground from a height of 600 feet, killing the pilot and all 12 passengers.

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