"Hero": Dutch hot air balloon pilot seriously hurt in Dubai crash

Burner on a hot air balloon
Burner on a hot air balloon Photo: Sunridin / Wikimedia Commons

Dutch hot air balloon pilot Jelke Haven was seriously injured on Saturday morning during a flight over the Dubai desert. Despite his critical injuries, he still managed to get his passengers safely on the ground. The company he works for in Dubai descries him as a hero, AD reports.

Haven took a group of passengers for a breathtaking flight in the United Arab Emirates desert at sunrise on Saturday, a common time for hot air balloon rides. During the landing, things went wrong. Haven sustained serious burns due to a problem with the balloon's burner, which puts hot air in the balloon, according to the company. All passengers escaped unharmed.

The pilot from Harfsen in Gelderland was rushed to the hospital. On Monday his condition was still "critical but stable", Erik Bosman said to AD on behalf of Haven's family. His family flew to Dubai over the weekend to be with him. 


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