UK

Hot Air Balloon Makes 'Controlled Landing' In Busy Northampton Street

23/06/2014 11:50 BST | Updated 24/06/2014 08:59 BST

A hot air balloon had to make an emergency landing in a busy street causing mayhem - but the pilot said it was the safest option.

Matt Rate said circumstances had forced him to down the balloon in Hilldrop Road, Northampton and it would have come down in the town centre if he had not decided to land there.

Frustrated motorists and excited passersby tweeted out pictures of what had happened. Meg Coulson tweeted: "Our route might be slightly blocked, bit of a crash of a hot air balloon.."

Rate said he was forced to land by the wind suddenly dropping off. He tried to land in a park but had to stop when the ballooon nearly struck a tree.

"It was the safest option at the time," the pilot told the BBC.

"I told the two passengers 'it is going to be tricky' and to trust me. I think people were a bit shocked that I got the balloon down into such a tight shape.

"The only control you have is up and down.

"In a way this was the same as any other landing. You have to compose yourself and not damage anything - you have to have that heightened awareness and be completely on the ball."

No one was hurt in the landing. Rate himself tweeted an image of the balloon being put away with the help of those on the ground.

Northamptonshire Police said their officers arrived and established there had been no accident. "The balloon had just landed in an unexpected space," a spokesperson said.