Hot-air balloon lands near prison, probe ordered

Hot-air balloon lands near prison, probe ordered

A hot-air balloon with two foreigners and a pilot on board went astray after taking off from Pushkar fair and landed near the premises of central prison in Ajmer district, prompting authorities to order an inquiry.

District authorities have withdrawn permission from the private company for flying hot-air balloons following yesterday's incident at the fair, which is visited by tens of thousands of tourists from the country and abroad every year.

According to officials, three hot-air balloons which were flown at the fair went astray yesterday. One of them, which had two women tourists from abroad and a pilot on board, landed near the boundary wall of the central jail after hovering over Ajmer city.

Superintendent of Police Mahendra Singh said that the location where the balloon landed was close to the main complex of the jail.

"We are investigating the matter and action will be taken if any rule has been violated," he said.

After the incident, District Collector Arushi Malik appointed a three-member committee headed by the Additional Collector to probe the matter.

She said that permission to the company to operate at the fair has been cancelled. The company had permission to operate till November 6.

Ajmer Jail Superintendent Pradeep Lakhawat said a report would be submitted to the committee by the jail.

No FIR has been registered in this matter so far.

The holy city of Pushkar is nearly 150 kilometres from Rajasthan capital Jaipur and hosts one of the biggest livestock fairs in the world. It is a popular tourist destination.

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