Balloon Accidents that Terminated Fatally
The number of fatal accident that have occurred in the history of balloons is not very great, and nearly all have resulted either from the use of the fire-balloon, or from want of knowledge, or carelessness on the part of the aeronauts themselves.
We have already referred to the accidents that closed the careers of Pilâtre de Rozier and Zambeccari.
On November 25, 1802, Signor Olivari, at Orleans, and on July 17, 1812, Herr Bittorff, at Mannheim, perished in consequence of the accidental combustion of their Montgolfieres.
On April 7, 1806, M. Mosment ascended from Lille upon a platform, from which he accidentally fell and was killed.
On July 7, 1819, Madame Blanchard ascended from Paris at night with fireworks attached to the car, a spark from one of which ignited the gas in the balloon, and she was precipitated to the ground and killed.
Lieut. Harris ascended from London on May 25, 1824, but, through mismanagement of the valve-line, he allowed all the gas to escape suddenly from the balloon, which descended with terrible velocity. He was killed by the fall, but his companion, Miss Stocks, escaped almost uninjured.
In an ascent from Blanckburn on September 29, 1824, by Mr. Windham Sadler, the balloon, in rising, struck against a chimney, and the aeronaut fell over the side of the car and was killed.
On July 24, 1837, Mr. Cocking descended from a balloon in a parachute, which struck the ground with such violence that he was killed on the spot.
In descending with a horse on September 8, 1850, Lieut. Gale was killed; and in 1863 Mr. Chamber was killed at Nottingham, his death arising from suffocation by the gas that poured out at the neck of the balloon, which was not separated from the car by a sufficient interval.
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