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Hydrogen balloons may face ban in Kerala

Considering the risk factors associated with hydrogen-filled balloons, the Fire and Rescue Services Department is planning to impose restrictions on the sale of hydrogen balloons during festivals.

Published: 28th March 2017 01:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2017 01:40 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: Hydrogen has long been part of people’s fascination with the balloon world, but the gas brings with it an equal or greater amount of danger. Considering the risk factors associated with hydrogen-filled balloons, the Fire and Rescue Services Department is planning to impose restrictions on the sale of hydrogen balloons during festivals.

“Since hydrogen is an unstable, inflammable gas, there is a great danger associated with hydrogen balloons. They easily explode and catch fire. A number of factors, including human errors, an electrical spark or close contact with a cigarette can lead to explosion,” said Fire and Rescue Services Director- Technical, E B Prasad. “The balloons can float to a site of combustible material, explode and trigger a fire,” he said.

“There have been few accidents involving hydrogen balloons. Fortunately, the victims escaped with minor injuries in all the cases,” the officer said.

“Flying balloons are filled with gas lighter than the atmospheric air, usually helium and hydrogen. Though helium is safe and non-reactive, balloon manufacturers prefer hydrogen as it is much cheaper,” he said.

The department had imposed restriction on the sale of hydrogen balloons during the Attukal temple festival. “We have launched a study and will carefully examine the issue. The licensing and certification of balloon manufacturers is also to be checked,” said Prasad.



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