Hot air balloon makes emergency landing with help from landscapers

MURRIETA, Calif. -- A pilot walked away unscathed Thursday morning after a hot air balloon made an emergency landing in a Murrieta neighborhood, authorities said.

The incident occurred just after 8 a.m. near Jackson Avenue in The Colony, a residential community, according to the Murrieta Police Department. Poor weather and windy conditions were blamed.

The pilot took off from the Temecula wine country, and he said the winds were much stronger than he initially thought. He saw a landscaping crew and shouted for help.

"I threw a rope down to them, and they pulled me in," said Brian Lynch. "It was just kind of lucky to have someone on the ground able to help."

"All I heard was this big noise," said landscaper Angel Martinez.

No one on the ground was injured, nor was any property damaged, officials said.

A photo tweeted by police shows the multi-colored balloon in the middle of a street, near a structure that it apparently just missed.
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