Gusty winds in Berlin terrify people in passenger balloon

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BERLIN (AP) — Several people were treated for shock after a helium passenger balloon in Berlin was shaken around wildly by gusty winds for several minutes on Tuesday afternoon, but nobody was injured, the city's fire department said.

Police spokeswoman Kerstin Ziesmer said the balloon, which is a popular tourist attraction in downtown Berlin, was caught by the winds on Tuesday afternoon and people had to crouch inside the basket to avoid falling out. The balloon is tied to the ground with steel ropes but can be lifted to a height of 150 meters (500 feet).

Nineteen people and the balloon's operator were in the basket at the time of the incident, a spokesman for the firefighter department said.

"The balloon's operator reacted very well and told all people inside to go down on the floor — therefore very little happened," Bernd Bruckmoser said.

"They all were in big shock, but luckily nobody had to be taken to the hospital," he said.

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