U.S. agency probes blimp emergency landing in Philadelphia neighborhood
(Reuters) – The emergency landing of a blimp near a highway in a Philadelphia neighborhood is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, an agency official said on Saturday.
The blimp lost power before the emergency landing on Friday, FAA spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt said in an email. Two people were on board but they were not injured in the landing at about 7 p.m. local time in an open area near a major highway.
Lt. David Bonk, a Philadelphia police officer in a helicopter tactical unit, posted a Twitter message with an aerial photo of the blimp lying mostly deflated in what appeared to be a construction zone.
“Not something #TacAir sees everyday,” Bonk said on Twitter.
“The blimp had a hard landing, had engine problems, it was overheating,” Ray Evers of the Philadelphia Police Department told reporters, according to video from local television station NBC 10.
A Philadelphia police representative did not immediately return calls for comment.
Breitenfeldt could not immediately say which company was operating the blimp, which was displaying advertising and came down in Fishtown, a neighborhood that historically was the working-class center of a large fishing industry and has many restaurants and music venues.
The blimp, which had been flying over the Delaware River earlier in the evening, was captured on video descending over the highway and striking a concrete barrier with its passenger capsule, according to NBC 10.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Richard Chang and David Gregorio)