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Gigantic balloon creature splits opinion in Australia

A gigantic whale-like balloon with pendulous udder-like appendages, designed to mark the centenary of Australia's capital Canberra, has divided opinion, with some branding it an ugly waste of money and others saying it is an inspiration. Skywhale, believed to be the first hot-air balloon commissioned to celebrate a city's 100th birthday, has the flowing form of a giant pink-and-black-hued fish. But its face could be that of a parrot, or a turtle, and the renowned artist who designed it, Patricia Piccinini, refuses to say just what it is.

Gigantic balloon creature splits opinion in Australia

A gigantic whale-like balloon with pendulous udder-like appendages, designed to mark the centenary of Australia's capital Canberra, has divided opinion, with some branding it an ugly waste of money and others saying it is an inspiration. Skywhale, believed to be the first hot-air balloon commissioned to celebrate a city's 100th birthday, has the flowing form of a giant pink-and-black-hued fish. But its face could be that of a parrot, or a turtle, and the renowned artist who designed it, Patricia Piccinini, refuses to say just what it is.

Gigantic balloon creature splits opinion in Australia

A gigantic whale-like balloon with pendulous udder-like appendages, designed to mark the centenary of Australia's capital Canberra, has divided opinion, with some branding it an ugly waste of money and others saying it is an inspiration. Skywhale, believed to be the first hot-air balloon commissioned to celebrate a city's 100th birthday, has the flowing form of a giant pink-and-black-hued fish. But its face could be that of a parrot, or a turtle, and the renowned artist who designed it, Patricia Piccinini, refuses to say just what it is.

5 Peru balloon riders found, 2 missing at sea

Five women who were riding in a hot air balloon were found Sunday after being rescued from the Pacific Ocean, while workers searched for two male passengers who are still missing, officials said. "Thank God, we have located five female occupants and we are continuing to search for the two missing men, whom we hope to find alive," Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza told reporters on Canete beach south of Lima. "There is joy, but also still tension because we need to find the other two young people."

5 Peru balloon riders found, 2 missing at sea

Five women who were riding in a hot air balloon were found Sunday after being rescued from the Pacific Ocean, while workers searched for two male passengers who are still missing, officials said. "Thank God, we have located five female occupants and we are continuing to search for the two missing men, whom we hope to find alive," Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza told reporters on Canete beach south of Lima. The women were spotted at sea and immediately rescued by two helicopters and a patrol, Pedraza said. They were being treated in hospital.

Egypt balloon flights resume after deadly crash

Hot air balloon flights resumed in the city of Luxor on Sunday, nearly two months after a deadly accident killed 19 tourists, Egyptian officials told AFP. Four flights took off from the ancient temple city, with around 70 tourists on board, said Ahmed Abboud who heads the Balloon Flights union. "Egyptian authorities have tightened security measures, including a review by an aviation engineer before and after take-off," Abboud said.

Brazil seeks to measure energy from solar explosions

Sao Paulo, April 5 (EFE).- A team of Brazilian scientists plan to use a pair of stratospheric balloons to study the energy produced by explosions on the Sun, the head of the project said. The specially equipped balloons have to reach the stratosphere - 40 kilometers (25 miles) above the Earth's surface - because the frequencies the researchers want to study cannot penetrate the atmosphere, Pierre Kauffmann told Efe.

Egypt balloon flights to resume after deadly crash

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will allow again hot air balloon flights which were halted in February when 19 people were killed in a crash near the ancient town of Luxor, state media said on Saturday. Mostly Asian and European tourists were killed in the crash after a balloon caught fire following a mid-air gas explosion near the Valley of the Kings and pharaonic temples popular with travellers. One Egyptian was also killed.

Egypt balloon crash bodies flown back to Hong Kong

The bodies of nine Hong Kong people who were among the 19 killed in a hot air balloon tragedy in Egypt last month were flown back to the southern Chinese city Monday. The bodies of the five women and four men have arrived in Hong Kong and will be transferred to a public mortuary, a government spokeswoman said. The balloon was carrying 21 people at an altitude of 300 metres (1,000 feet) during a sunrise flight over Egypt's ancient temple city of Luxor on February 26 when it caught fire.

Egypt balloon crash probe rules out criminal activity

An initial probe into a hot air balloon crash that killed up to 19 tourists in Egypt has ruled out any criminal action as a cause of the accident, state media said on Wednesday. "Investigations so far by the general prosecution show no suspicion of criminal activity," the official MENA news agency reported, citing the preliminary findings of the investigation.
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