Man Rescued After Spending Two Days Floating In A Hydrogen Balloon

By Bill Galluccio

September 8, 2022

Hydrogen balloon under the blue sky
Photo: Getty Images

A Chinese man was rescued after spending two days trapped in a runaway hydrogen balloon. The man, identified only by his surname, Hu, was collecting pine nuts in a forest park in Heilongjiang province with another person when the tether on their balloon broke, and they started to drift away.

The other man managed to jump out of the balloon before it got too high, but Hu missed his chance and found himself stuck as it floated away.

The following morning rescuers were able to contact Hu on his cell phone and instructed him to begin deflating the balloon. After two days in the balloon, Hu finally landed in a forest over 180 miles away.

Officials traced his cell phone signal and dispatched a team of 500 police and firefighters to look for him in the forest. They found the balloon stuck in a tree and lowered Hu to safety. He was unharmed, though he did complain of back pain after standing for two straight days.

"I almost gave up," Hu told the Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV, according to CNN. "Thanks to the rescuers. Otherwise, I wouldn't be alive."

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