A hot air balloon landed in the Henry Madden Library parking lot on Sunday morning. Kristen Lacey / The Collegian
Early risers in the Fresno State dorms were in for a surprise Sunday morning when a hot air balloon landed near the Henry Madden Library parking lot.
Megi Hakobjanyan, a senior majoring in political science, rolled out of bed at 8:15 a.m. to find the rainbow-colored hot air balloon parked outside her suite in Aspen Hall. She said she was woken up to loud noises as the owner attempted to reinflate the balloon.
After landing directly next to Sycamore Hall, the balloon was then dragged away from the building into the library parking lot by a group of people who helped the pilot. As the balloon was tilted and deflated, Hakobjanyan said there was a big rip in the material.
“I woke up because I thought it was our AC that was broken, because it was really loud,” Hakobjanyan said. “It’d be like a loud sound, and it would stop, and then a loud sound again.”
While no information was available as to why the balloon landed, Fran Blackney, spokeswoman for the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, confirmed it was one launched as part of ClovisFest’s Hot Air Balloon Fun Fly.
Six hot air balloons, all individually owned, were launched at 7 a.m. from Clovis Rodeo Grounds.
Blackney said it did not appear to be an emergency and was likely something caused by the wind that forced the landing, such as the wind changing direction or the balloon flying close to the airport.
“It was kind of funny,” Hakobjanyan said. “Even the people out there, they were laughing so it wasn’t like they were freaking out.”
A vehicle eventually came and collected the balloon around 9 a.m.