9 Mar 2012

Tributes paid to balloon crash victims

7:33 pm on 9 March 2012

A service has been held at a Wairapa balloon festival to in memory of the 11 people who died in a balloon crash two months ago, though strong winds again stopped a balloon flight.

A service was held on Friday morning at the annual Balloons over Wairarapa festival in Carterton.

A mass flight of 25 balloons from New Zealand and overseas had been planned, initially on Thursday, as a tribute flight to the crash victims.

Strong winds that day put paid to the plans and similar conditions on Friday meant the balloons would be inflated but stay on the ground, organisers said.

Small white helium-filled balloons were released in memory of the 11 people who died in when their balloon plunged to the ground in flames after hitting power lines near Carterton on 7 January.