Surrey, British Columbia
A commercial hot-air balloon carrying 12 passengers near Vancouver burst into flames this week, leaving two dead and 11 injured. The balloon caught fire just before takeoff, and the pilot and most of the passengers were able to abandon the craft. But four passengers remained on board as the balloon lifted off. Two jumped about 50 feet to the ground, sustaining broken bones and internal injuries. But two others, Shannon Knackstedt and her adult daughter, Gemma, were burned to death as several family members, who had been on the balloon with them, watched in horror. Other passengers were injured as they leapt off the balloon while it was still moored. It rose about 400 feet before crashing into a nearby trailer park.
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