Mechanical failure caused fireball at balloon festival

The Associated Press
Posted Aug. 24, 2011, at 11:47 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — Officials say a flash fire that injured five people in a hot air balloon at a Maine balloon festival was caused by a faulty valve on a propane tank.

Maine Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland tells WMTW-TV the valve on the propane tank allowed gas to escape during Saturday’s Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston. The gas was ignited by a pilot light.

The balloon’s pilot, Andre Boucher of Derry, N.H., suffered second degree burns. He was released from the hospital Monday.

Four other people suffered lesser injuries. printed on August 17, 2017