The Daily Mirror

Los Angeles history

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May 24, 1908

May 24, 2008 |  7:16 am




Above, 16 people are injured at a balloon ascension in Berkeley when the gas bag ruptures at an altitude of 300 feet and the airship plunges to earth. The hydrogen gas bag, made of cotton treated with kerosene oil, was 450 feet long, 36 feet in diameter and the ship was powered by five auto engines, The Times says. (This was an enormous aircraft, twice the length of a 747, which has a fuselage 225 feet long).

The victims include the inventor, John A. Morrell, and several photographers. 

Unfortunately, The Times never says what became of Morrell except that he was charged with obtaining money under false pretenses.

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