A Myanmar Buddhist festival’s firework-laden hot air balloon erupted on the crowd, injuring 9

A cloud of fire falls from the balloon. YouTube/WorldNews
  • A hot air balloon carrying 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of fireworks exploded over the heads of religious festival goers in Myanmar on Wednesday.
  • 9 people were injured at the Tazaungdaing Festival when patrons were showered with fireworks from the balloon 300 feet (90 meters) above them.
  • The “festival of light” is a Buddhist celebration, and also held to celebrate the end of the monsoon season.
  • Accidents are common at the festival, in 2014, four people were killed.

A hot air balloon laden with pyrotechnics exploded moments after taking off from a festival in Myanmar on Wednesday, showering watchers below with fireworks which injured nine people.

The hot air balloon was taking off from a dense crowd of people at the Tazaungdaing “Festival of Lights” in Shan State, Myanmar, BBC Burmese reported.

But at a height of 300 feet (90 meters) above the crowd, the balloon exploded, causing the 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of fireworks onboard to explode.

Balloon hot air
The hot air balloon as it begins to rise up from the crowd below. YouTube/WorldNews

In videos widely shared on social media, fireworks can be seen peppering the crowd below, and people are seen fleeing from the scene.

Here’s what happened:


Dr. Than Win from the organising committee told BBC Burmese: “Last night, a hot-air balloon with 40 pounds of explosives fell from 300 feet onto the festival. Because the balloon fell into the middle of the festival, where there were a lot of people, of course it hit some people.”

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The festival, running from November 14 to 23, is held to celebrate the Buddhist holiday of Tazaungdaing and the end of the monsoon season.

Injuries are not uncommon at the festival, which is held at various locations nationwide.

In the 2014 edition of the festival four people were killed and in 2017 at least 15 people were injured, Myanmar news website Coconuts Yangon reported.