Video Captures Chaotic Hot-Air Balloon Collision in Downstate Illinois

An amateur videographer in downstate Chatsworth never expected the show he got Thursday night.

Cellphone photographer Wayne Germain says a sudden gust of wind suddenly changed the mood at the festival from care free to frantic.

"Out of nowhere, a 20 to 30 mph gust sustained for 20-30 seconds," Germain told NBC 5, causing the balloons took off wildly into the air.

Spectators watched in horror when balloons collided. Seconds later the balloon operator could be seen dangling from the basket about 50 feet in the air.

"He was being held on by his feet, literally, on that basque," Germain said. The balloon operator went tumbling to the ground and two passengers inside were left inside.

"It was gong up and down and sideways," Germain said.

Rescue crews screamed to the novice passengers, who won the balloon ride at a silent auction, helping them navigate back down, beyond a line of trees and dangerous power lines.

"Lord only knows what could have happened," Germain said, adding that it was an "act of God" and there was nothing the pilot could have done to avoid the situation.

No serious injuries were reported after the incident.

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