UK authorities launch major operation mistaking 10ft Santa balloon for crashing plane

January 5th, 2009 - 6:00 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 5 (ANI): Emergency services in Yorkshire Dales launched a major operation after the report of plane crash, only to discover that the aircraft was actually a 10ft Santa balloon.

Five fire vehicles, including a heavy rescue unit, two police cars and an ambulance were rushed to Yorkshire Dales village of Marrick after a call on 999 informed that seeing a light aircraft or hang glider crashing into the woods.

However, the crashing aircraft turned out to be a bright-red, partially-deflated Father Christmas hanging from the branches.

We dont know who it belonged to, once we had ascertained it was not a serious incident we didn”t really pursue it much further,” the Telegraph quoted a North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman as saying.

A spokesman from North Yorkshire Fire Service said: “We were alerted to a possible hang-glider crash at Hags Gill Farm.

“As it was reported as an air crash we sent two pumps, a heavy rescue unit, an incident support unit and a senior officer. What they actually found was a large 10ft helium Santa stranded in treetops.

Our services were not required. I believe it was deflated by a police officer who climbed up the tree, he added.

A spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: It was a false alarm with good intent. It was getting dark and the caller, a local resident, reported seeing something, possibly a hang-glider, coming down in the trees.

She added: Night was falling and it was difficult to see exactly what had happened. The call was made with honest and good intentions.” (ANI)

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