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Balloonfest 86: The day Cleveland released 1.5 million balloons, breaking records and causing chaos.



An attempt to break a Guinness record in 1986 ended when two people died in the middle of a helium-filled balloon storm in the US city of Cleveland. This is one of this country’s most memorable environmental disasters.

a guinness record It caused tragedy in the US city of Cleveland in the 1980s, but charities and local authorities decided it was a great idea. Release 1.5 million balloons filled with helium at the same time.

Nevertheless, they had no atmospheric details. rain and wind.

This is a story starring the executives of united way On the morning of September 27, 1986, American Charities of Cleveland.

this “good idea” The fundraising effort ended up being a nightmare that resulted in millions of dollars in damages and irreversible levels of pollution in the city.

All of this is due to a series of misfortunes that no one expected when they decided to give the citizens of Cleveland a colorful spectacle.

These are the details of the history of Balloonfest 1986.Cleveland helium balloon tragedy.


Preparing to launch 1.5 million helium balloons in Cleveland

This idea was born Disneyland 30th anniversary The moment when the last Guinness record in this category was broken.

Hundreds of volunteers filled tiny quantities of helium with helium as an opportunity to promote tourism in the city. 1.5 million colored balloons.

The balloons were inflated under a giant net in downtown Cleveland and held captive until they were released.

The event was attended by a large number of people eager to see this spectacle in person.

When the time came, the net was released and millions of balloons soared into the Cleveland sky. It’s like a flock of colorful birds.

The show was great in the first moments and the public celebrated the feat. Until everything goes wrong.

No one noticed the bad weather and the speed of the wind that existed at that time. He pushed the balloon back toward the city.

Within minutes, the Cleveland sky was covered with an impenetrable cloud of colorful balloons.

Lawsuit against dead fisherman and Cleveland

The same morning, a sportfishing duo went missing after their boat capsized on Lake Erie.

Police detailed at the time that the men could not be rescued until emergency helicopters and the coast guard intervened. They could not get through the dense cloud of balloons.

Unfortunately, once the rescue team reached the lake, Its entire surface was covered with balloons. And it was impossible to distinguish a human head from inside that improvised rug.

As a result, the two fishermen drowned, and the widow of one of them filed a lawsuit against the Cleveland City Council.


other $100,000 lawsuit This was submitted by the owner of an Arabian horse that had won prizes in several competitions and was scared by balloons. he was seriously injured.

The balloons also caused air traffic disruptions at local airports, with takeoff runways covered in balloons and rendered unusable for hours.

News of the disaster quickly spread throughout the country due to the following effects: Lack of consideration for the environment.

Additionally, helium is a gas that cannot be recovered once lost.

The environmental problem was serious, as the balloons even contaminated some forest areas. Even if it’s biodegradable.

However, it is important to emphasize that the organization spent $500,000 on this event.

A report at the time detailed the balloon’s long presence in Cleveland and surrounding areas, endangering the area’s fauna and water resources.

Eventually, in 1988, the printed version of Guinness World Records dropped the category, citing safety concerns.

Source: Biobiochile

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