AUBURN (CBS) – Rush hour drivers on the Massachusetts Turnpike had quite a sight above them in Auburn Thursday morning.

A hot air balloon made an emergency landing.

Seven people were on the recreational hot air balloon when it was forced to land about 100 feet off the eastbound side of the highway near a maintenance facility around 7:30 a.m.

No one was hurt.

The pilot told State Police that he was forced to put the balloon down right away because of the wind conditions.

It had launched from Institute Park in Worcester earlier in the morning.

A chase van that was following the balloon picked up the pilot, passengers and the balloon. The scene was cleared in about a half an hour.

State police say the landing caused some minor traffic because of the curiosity factor, but there were no major backups.

The balloon is owned by the Bella Via Balloon Company of Worcester.   It was piloted by Amedeo DiStefano of Worcester.

Comments (5)
  1. Helium says:

    Pilot Mario Destefano is one of the WORST balloon pilots in New England. Very poor safety record including several landings on the Pike and 290 over the years. Although todays landing was not a safety issue, he coud have chosen a better spot. Typical poor flight planning leading to injuries or media problems…. Hope the Turnpike Authority hits him for tresspassing.

  2. TinCambridge says:

    Hey, I think the tolls are a rip off too, but this is not a good way to avoid them! :}}}

    1. Tina says:

      ha ha ha..

    1. italo says:

      :) Now this is my way to go up and away! And I remember this performance and this song, bigtime here in Boston even as a little kid!

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