On Tuesday morning residents of Marapu village woke to a strange spectacle after a massive balloon crash-landed in the area. At first, villagers thought the loud crashing noise resulted from an invasion of wild animals in the area. It is common for elephants to invade their farms in search of pasture.


Curious but apprehensive villagers surrounded the object, fearing it could be a bomb. However, one of the villagers identified it as a balloon and they gained courage to move closer to observe it. On closer look they found the object to be a mass of wires and circuit boards.

Part of the high altitude balloon that crashed in Marapu, Voi. Photo | KNA

Area OCPD Joseph Chesire settled resident’s fears after he identified the object to be high altitude balloon used to transmit and/or gather data. There is widespread speculation that the balloon could be one of Google’s Internet beamers.

Mr. Chesire assured residents that such balloons are programmed to land away from human settlement once they outlive usefulness. In this case, he said the balloon was supposed to land in Lake Magadi. However, bad weather derailed it from its course and pushed it towards Tsavo National Park.

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While the residents were relieved to know it posed no danger to them, they called on owners of such objects to ensure they safely land away from human habitation. This concern is legitimate given the sheer size and weight of the balloon could seriously injure, or kill, had it landed on someone or on a house.

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