LAS VEGAS, Nev. (702 Times, NV Globe) – It costs $175,000, can accommodate 16 passengers, and has 400 pounds of dangerous gas inside. Hot air balloon, according to its owners, was taken from a Las Vegas backlot on Monday.
“It was an open flatbed trailer, around 18 feet long that contained a whole basket,” said Jean Francois Rigollet, one of the owners of Vegas Balloon Rides.
The company’s second owner, J.J. Padro Allende, said it was startling to learn that their hot air balloon had been stolen.
“We definitely didn’t think our hot air balloon would be stolen,” said Allende.
The largest balloon in Vegas Balloon Rides’ fleet, which was taken, is approximately 15 storeys tall when fully inflated, and Allende claims it is what keeps the company afloat.
“A lot of us depend on this,” said Allende. “This is our livelihood.”
The loss of the balloon poses a threat to more than simply Vegas Balloon Rides’ financial health. According to Allende, the stolen tank contains highly volatile and potentially deadly chemicals.
“There’s 400 pounds of flammable gas inside,” Allende said, adding that if the thieves decide to light their haul on fire, it could be extraordinarily destructive.
There may not be many hints as to where the balloon went. The proprietors are counting on nearby companies that could have videotaped the incident. Rigollet, though, doubts that the thieves will find it simple to resell the parts on the black market.
“We expect them to dump them in the desert or small street somewhere,” Rigollet said.
The owners, for their part, claim they will increase security by putting in better lighting, cameras, and tracking gadgets to safeguard their trailers and cars. But Monday’s heist couldn’t have come at a worse time. The loss occurs just as Valentine’s Day, one of the company’s busiest seasons, is about to begin.
Credits: 8 News Now
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