Tuesday 06 August 2013. A 55 year old year old Californian was killed during the landing phase of a balloon in Montbovon east of Chateau d’Oex where it allegedly took off from. Early reports suggest that the balloon collided with power wires and fell from around 165 feet. The other passengers on board, the dead man’s wife, two daughters and the pilot all suffered life threatening injuries.
Swiss police said that ‘The hot-air balloon in which they were travelling fell about 50 m (164 feet) after hitting power lines as it came in to land. The balloon took off at 6.30am at Château-d’Oex and crashed just before landing at 8.35am at Montbovon.’
Grant Adamson from Malibu died at the scene despite rescuers’ attempts to resuscitate him. His wife Terry and two daughters, aged 20 and 24, were taken by helicopter to hospitals in Bern and Lausanne. The pilot was taken away by ambulance.
Reports suggest that the balloon belonged to a hotel in Gstaad where the family were staying. The Swiss news agency SDA said the site where the accident occurred is considered safe by balloon pilots. Local pilot Raphael Zuccollo is stated as saying that there were several power lines in the vicinity but were clearly visible, adding that conditions on Tuesday morning had been perfect and visibility had been good. The Swiss Authorities have launched an investigation into the tragic accident. Our sympathies go to all those involved.