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Remainder of balloon wreckage found

The final piece of the balloon from the fatal  hot-air balloon accident at Meadow Event Park May 9 has been found, Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa said Tuesday.

The piece, about 90 percent of the actual balloon, was found Monday night in the Mattaponi River by Caroline residents  who discovered it  between Milford and U.S. 301, he said.

The balloon and part of the basket were found by people who were floating down the river in a canoe and kayak.

Tuesday morning, the Sheriff’s Office recovered the balloon, which stretched out to about 100 feet, and the bottom part of the basket. It took five people to retrieve the balloon from the river, Lippa said.

The wreckage was found about six miles from where the balloon struck the power lines and eight or nine miles from where it was originally launched at Meadow Event Park.

The accident occurred during a hot-hair balloon festival that was scheduled for that weekend.  The balloon struck a power line and caught fire.  Three people, including two women involved in athletics at the University of Richmond, died.

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