10 people OK after hot air balloon lands along Ore. freeway

10 people OK after hot air balloon lands along Ore. freeway
Photo courtesy Gary Woodley.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Now here's something you don't see every day when you're heading down the freeway.

A hot air balloon ended up making a landing along Interstate 205 Saturday morning. This was in a grassy area between the southbound on-ramp from Highway 224 to 82nd Avenue and I-205.

The balloon wasn't there long but KATU viewer Gary Woodley happened to be passing by and snapped this photo.

"I was looking up and I thought 'that thing looks like it's coming down.' And sure enough it did. So I took a quick picture of it and continued on my way," he said.

According to the Oregon State Police, there were 10 people in the balloon's basket when it went down and everyone got out safely.

The operator told police that he and his nine passengers had left from Aurora but wind conditions had prevented them from landing at two sites north of Canby. So he decided to do a controlled descent until he could find a safe place to land.

It took about a half hour to deflate the balloon and get it into a support vehicle that came by to pick everyone up.