It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Google balloon crash alarms town

MEXICO CITY (AP) — It’s a bird. It’s a plane. Actually, it was a balloon.

But the crash of one of Google’s “Loon” balloons for relaying Internet service was enough to have security forces summoned to a mountain township in central Mexico.

Reports first of a plane crash, then of a skydiver plummeting to earth sent soldiers, state police and civil defense workers swarming into the remote area Thursday. They found one of the huge, jellyfish-shaped balloons that Google is using to carry antennas to deliver online access in remote areas.

“Originally residents said an aircraft had fallen, and later, because of the balloon’s shape, they said it was a parachute,” said Manuel Escalera, spokesman for the civil defense agency in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

The state government said in a statement that the balloon “caused surprise among inhabitants because of the sound it made when it fell.” Escalera said no one was hurt because the equipment came down in an unpopulated area.

Veracruz authorities have notified Google to come pick up the remains of the balloon and the transmission equipment.



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