17 Jan 2012

Coroner praises balloon disaster team

2:35 pm on 17 January 2012

Coroner Peter Ryan has praised the work of the disaster victim identification team working on the Carterton balloon tragedy.

Mr Ryan has now formally identified all of 11 people, five couples and the pilot, who died when the hot air balloon crashed in flames at about 7.25am on 7 January.

The coroner says experts faced a very difficult challenge due to the horrific nature of the accident.

Mr Ryan says the team's skill and determination meant the victims of the accident could be returned to their families relatively quickly.

The inquest has been adjourned until investigations by police and the Transport Accident and Investigation Commission have been completed.