Hot air balloon trip over Grantham substation blaze

An aerial view of the fire captured by Hayley Broad from a hot air balloon

An aerial view of the fire captured by Hayley Broad from a hot air balloon

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The Journal has been sent photos taken by passengers in a Virgin balloon which flew near to the scene of the substation fire on Tuesday evening.

The pictures show a dark plume of smoke rising thousands of feet into the air as emergency services dealt with the fire.

View of the substation fire in Grantham from the Virgin balloon, Photo: Patrycja Kolasa

View of the substation fire in Grantham from the Virgin balloon, Photo: Patrycja Kolasa

The balloon had taken off from the grounds of Belton Woods Hotel at 4.30pm carrying 14 passengers and the pilot spotted the fire about half an hour later as the balloon drifted over the town.

Virgin says that the passengers were never in any danger and the balloon did not have to make an emergency landing.

One of the passengers, Patrycja Kolasa sent pictures to the Journal. She said: “I have just seen an explosion from the balloon flight,” adding that the pilot looked for a place to land soon afterwards.

A spokesman for Virgin Balloons told the Journal: “The balloon was a significant distance away from the fire and at no point was there any risk to any of our passengers on the flight.

“Our pilot had already begun to look ahead for a suitable landing spot prior to the fire starting and landed the balloon shortly after 5.30pm in a field near Harrowby Hall on the outskirts of Grantham.

“The landing was a standard landing and not an emergency of any kind, with our highly experienced pilot in full control at all times.

“All of our passengers then enjoyed their traditional post-landing Champagne toast before going on their way.”