Hydrogen filled balloons were used at Fort Sill (Oklahoma) for observation of artillery fire. In 1918, a spark of static electricity caused a balloon to explode while the ground crew was still holding onto the guide ropes. The above photograph shows soldiers running away from the explosion – they were then ordered to go back and keep the balloon from drifting and igniting nearby wooden barracks. Six Soldiers were killed and another 30 injured in that incident.
Balloon Explosion at Fort Sill, 1918
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