August 15, 2011 in Nation/World

Runaway blimp found in yard

Kantele Franko Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

An advertising blimp crash landed in Lillian Bernhagen’s backyard in Worthington, Ohio, on Sunday.
(Full-size photo)

WORTHINGTON, Ohio – A 94-year-old Ohio woman who woke up to discover that a blimp missing from a nearby airport had landed in her backyard said she heard a bang during stormy weather but didn’t realize what happened until police knocked on her door about seven hours later.

The 128-foot-long blimp broke free of its moorings at a Columbus airport during strong winds early Sunday, then drifted less than two miles from Ohio State University’s Don Scott airfield. No one was aboard and no injuries were reported.

The remnants of the battered blimp were draped over Lillian Bernhagen’s picnic table and birdfeeders, covering half her backyard.

“I looked out the window and I said, ‘Wow!’ ” she said.

The blimp advertises Hangar 1 Vodka and is on a tour of about 20 cities under the direction of a Florida-based airship advertiser called The Lightship Group, said Toby Page, the group’s marketing director. The blimp won’t make its next planned stop in Detroit on Thursday.

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