§ Mr. Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he can give any information in connection with a barrage balloon that exploded in a North London district on 4th February; and state what damage was done.
§ Sir A. Sinclair
The accident occurred after orders had been given for the balloon to be close-hauled and when it was about to be bedded down. The balloon suddenly yawed, the bow striking the winch canopy and the stern a building close by. The balloon was torn and exploded, causing a fire in which it was destroyed. I regret that three persons were injured, two civilians being cut by glass and one airman being badly burned. I also regret that several people were rendered homeless as a result of damage to houses in the vicinity. A court of inquiry has been set up to determine the cause of the accident.