Hot air balloon with 16 aboard lands safely after fire

SYDNEY (AP) — A hot air balloon carrying a pilot and 15 passengers landed safely Wednesday after its basket caught fire mid-flight.

One passenger, a 27-year-old woman suffered minor injuries, and was taken to hospital for observation. She was reported in a stable condition.

The commercial flight took off at 5.30am from Wanden Park in Victoria state and made its emergency landing about 45 minutes later in the Yarra Valley. The balloon's basket was destroyed by the fire.

In a statement, the National Commercial Ballooning Industry said "the pilot, one of Australia's most experienced commercial hot air balloon pilots with approximately 5500 hours in command, flew the aircraft under challenging circumstances and managed to land the balloon safely, then evacuate the 15 passengers and himself."