Man found alive after spending 2 days trapped aloft in a giant hydrogen balloon

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By Asiya Ali

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A man who spent two days aloft in a hydrogen balloon in China has been found safe.

Per ABC News, Chinese state media has reported that the man - identified only by his surname, Hu - and a partner were using the hydrogen balloon to collect pine nuts on September 4 in a forest park in the Heilongjiang province of northeastern China.

Suddenly, the pair lost control and the balloon sailed off. While the other person was able to jump to the ground, Hu floated away with the balloon.

After, a search was launched for the out-of-control balloon and Hu. Fortunately, the rescue team was able to find his location by calling Hu's cell phone.

Once authorities were able to get ahold of Hu, he was instructed to slowly deflate the balloon to land safely - taking another day to reach the ground.

The man had drifted more than 300 kilometers away from where he started and got stuck in a tree on his way down. He was found in the Fangzheng region of China, close to the Russian border.

Hu was found in good health but had lower back pain, possibly from standing the whole time he was trapped in the balloon. He later revealed: "I almost gave up," adding, "But thanks to the rescuers, otherwise, I wouldn't be alive."

Given the cold temperature and the damp ground in the forest, every rescue team member was deeply exhausted after continuously searching for 10 hours over 900 hectares.

According to Global Times, Meng Qingchun, a member of the rescue team, said that the rescue process was extremely difficult, explaining: "It was raining heavily in the dark forest, which was really hard for us to see anything clearly."

As per NZHearld, an official at the publicity department of the Hailin Forestry Administration Co said on September 8 that Hu was a man in his 40s and revealed that he was recovering in a hospital, but declined to give further details.

wp-image-1263168800 size-full
The man used the hydrogen balloon to collect pine nuts from trees. Credit: Dennis Cox / Alamy

Pine nuts are found inside of pine cones and are an important ingredient in dishes served in the northeast of the country.

The practice of using hydrogen or helium balloons to harvest the nuts has become common in China in recent years and there have been few reports of workers being swept away.

Per CNN, back in 2019, two men picked pine cones in the country's Changbai mountains and suddenly lost control of their balloon. They ended up floating 10 kilometers before landing safely and being arrested for violating aviation laws.

In addition to that case, a nut picker went missing near the North Korean border after his balloon became untethered in 2017. Chinese media reported that the weather made it difficult for rescuers to find the man, as reported by the Mirror.

Featured image credit: Cultura RM / Alamy

Man found alive after spending 2 days trapped aloft in a giant hydrogen balloon

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A man who spent two days aloft in a hydrogen balloon in China has been found safe.

Per ABC News, Chinese state media has reported that the man - identified only by his surname, Hu - and a partner were using the hydrogen balloon to collect pine nuts on September 4 in a forest park in the Heilongjiang province of northeastern China.

Suddenly, the pair lost control and the balloon sailed off. While the other person was able to jump to the ground, Hu floated away with the balloon.

After, a search was launched for the out-of-control balloon and Hu. Fortunately, the rescue team was able to find his location by calling Hu's cell phone.

Once authorities were able to get ahold of Hu, he was instructed to slowly deflate the balloon to land safely - taking another day to reach the ground.

The man had drifted more than 300 kilometers away from where he started and got stuck in a tree on his way down. He was found in the Fangzheng region of China, close to the Russian border.

Hu was found in good health but had lower back pain, possibly from standing the whole time he was trapped in the balloon. He later revealed: "I almost gave up," adding, "But thanks to the rescuers, otherwise, I wouldn't be alive."

Given the cold temperature and the damp ground in the forest, every rescue team member was deeply exhausted after continuously searching for 10 hours over 900 hectares.

According to Global Times, Meng Qingchun, a member of the rescue team, said that the rescue process was extremely difficult, explaining: "It was raining heavily in the dark forest, which was really hard for us to see anything clearly."

As per NZHearld, an official at the publicity department of the Hailin Forestry Administration Co said on September 8 that Hu was a man in his 40s and revealed that he was recovering in a hospital, but declined to give further details.

wp-image-1263168800 size-full
The man used the hydrogen balloon to collect pine nuts from trees. Credit: Dennis Cox / Alamy

Pine nuts are found inside of pine cones and are an important ingredient in dishes served in the northeast of the country.

The practice of using hydrogen or helium balloons to harvest the nuts has become common in China in recent years and there have been few reports of workers being swept away.

Per CNN, back in 2019, two men picked pine cones in the country's Changbai mountains and suddenly lost control of their balloon. They ended up floating 10 kilometers before landing safely and being arrested for violating aviation laws.

In addition to that case, a nut picker went missing near the North Korean border after his balloon became untethered in 2017. Chinese media reported that the weather made it difficult for rescuers to find the man, as reported by the Mirror.

Featured image credit: Cultura RM / Alamy