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L'ESTRANGE'S BALLOON ASCENT. I

Tho balloon ascent bj Ilrnn L Lstian^o, whick was to have taken pi te o on Monday cvenwj; caine off list night, and. rcsul'ed ina sensttional and startling denoue- ment, which happilv was uaacconipmied by any fatal accident The Sjclnov Gas Coinpuy having uudertiken to supply the necossnrv quint ty of gas vesterdnv, the work of mlating tbe balloo i pioceeJed without a Fitch all day, and bv nightfall evoiv thing appealed to bo in readiness for the ascent Duug the afternoon tho scene of operations WDS visited bv humVedo of people, and between 7 and 9 o'clock eiowds ot vi-ilui3 enteied the Domain through the v mous irate ind m i sLou time theio must have been fullv 10,C03 porro s m the Outer Domain, the cr«ibh bemg esrccmlrj noticeable m the vicinity of tho ballon Sub-insnecior Watcis with a fow men under hun hid chalga of tho small enclosure within which the belloon v as stationed bat even with ibis resistance md the additional efforts of his committee, L'Estrango found tho task of keeping the roughs in check an exceclracW ditheulf one, and in a verj short time the temporary barricade which had been constructed with a view to preserve the balloon nom damage was broken down Abjut 0 o'c'ock tho kmkin element began to as3ti t itself in the usual erratic manner, and about half-pist 9 o clock L l?stian"P dctei mined to mako the ascent, but itwa9 found thatoumgto the dcnsi v of the atmosphere and the hoavv dow v\hich vas then t illiuj; the balloon did not possess snilicicnt buoj aucj to lift the car and aeronaut, oven without bail ist It however, ascended about httv yards, ai d was the i dragged bick to itara fit ma, LLstr inges mtention being to procuro additional gas The officer of tho g is comptnv, how- ever, declined to ¿ivo anv fur hoi surjplv and one of two alternatives piestnted it elf to L'Estrango, either to abandon tho attempt and run tho risk of being senouslv maître itcd by the mob, <> pio ceed heavenwards without tho car ncccr-ting tho attendant hazards or neb. au aornl vovago It was, in fact, t cav« of " ltob=on's choice," and the courageous aeiomut, 1 now mer vi li it he had to expect below as the rpsult of failuii icsnlvcd 11 gJ aloft and tin t to his good fortur-o rio thcioupo i linmediatelj disen- gaged the babket, and Minting himself in a loop of the pendant ropes gavcth o-d<i to k*-(,o aid a tow minutes before 10 o'clock tho balloon ^lainfnUv ascended m an almost perpendicular direction to un altitude ot ab mt bali a mile Aftei hovering above the oif foi a fe« minutes itslovvh sailed m the direction of Hvdo Paik, and tbenco catchme, a westorlv cunent \ is iwcpt onward tovvaids Itusbcutter Bttv lust «lout ti ¡s time LTstiauge put an extia tension on the vaho to pt ont PUV (.»(ape of gas, and m doin" so lifted himsolt ( it hi« pieeanoub perch, and was alarmed to find lum elf susj(uU<d m mid air b> his hands He how (vu ian i"ol t< secure a se t onco more, and findn-r. that ti Oh apu^ ¡,as w is f.ei lbl-y affecting him, lashed himself li tilt lopes Pievious to this he had radi ivo ire I to l-»t down toe grapplmg-nons but the ripes having become entangled would not drop fut the than lo fi t As the balloon b»iin rapiuly to descend towards "Woolloo- mooloo, E Estrange siw at onco that he ran vety great risk of bon,r killed, or, at the very leiht, receiving serious miurv bj coming into collision with the buildmto, and he accordin_,lv made overv pre- paration possible m dei tho ( ireum&t mccs to offect a safe landing, resolving ti let the balloon take its chance After passing over Itohinwm s lane, between Crown and Palmei sheet*-, the b illoon HUuck tho top of a house on the opposite side of Pilmer-stiept, and there iotnamed fast LTr-tnn^o, v atcliu-g his opportumtv, cut away the ropes bv which ho was hi Id and munaged to di op safelv on tuo roof of tho butldin,,, and thonco descended into tno btreot Hero he w is at once seuid bv a numocr of well meaning persons who, no doubt fanc>mg that ho must have lecened bomo senou hurt, took linn into Kobinson 3 Pit^ioy Holel at the como of Willi m md Pilmer stiects In tho meantimeMcsuis Ihiodoii uid Gibson, tv o members ot tho aeronaut's ( onimittu, with Mr Carioll md sov eral othei gentlemen, h id g it IK id of thpnctvvoik of the balloon in order to bung it "itelj into ti 0 le idwav wilh as httlo Sámago as losablo, but just at this luncfme a gentleman re ming in the houso alrcadj relcrred to opined tho \ enctm1 shut let s on the hilconv, and the escaping gas from the balloon communicating with the ehundoli 31 inside the 1 oom, caused an immediate explosion At tina timo fhotis mds of people wt te hurrv mg from the Dom un, Il> de l'ark and other localities tovvaid« Woolloomooloo, and tho fiist intimation thov received that some uilostrophe had occmred was in a sudden blaze of light which cabt a brief but v îvid illumination ov or the entire suburb Ihis was followed bj a mass of file which Bhot quicklj up into tho air and as spoedilv descended lho general mipribbion was that L'l straus,0 must have been killed, and a good deal of agitation w is upparent milong t the hundteds who wote hunvtng to the scene ot the disaster, and who vvoic Biib'-equentlv much relieved to hear that the aerial vovac,cr was sale if not peifec ly sound When the gas 111 the hallion became ignited, Ali

Thiodon actually had hold of the netwoil , but, stiange t > «ay, he escapea with a few nbusiom, lho explosif n itself was not vc-y ulai min.; but thi sudlen and unexpected bla/o of light CHUM a a panic, resulting m a geneial and immediate- stimtedc lliote vv is a large dowd in William und Pilmer streets, md the various hines adjoining, and the confusion that ensued was almost beyond debt upturn lu tho general rnsh tim was made to got out of danger uumbcis ol people worn knocked down and trodden upon, and MI no severely iniurtd, while others cscapid with sh ,ht bruise* One man had to betaken to tho Infirmarj, wheio he v ns found to havo received a mobt pa uful cut ici jss the ( p of his lol knee while his fin 0 vvap mai1 ed vvith ( -*ial wounds and covered

with blood

Tho ciovvd momentarily gtcv. lai^ei and if possible, moro excited, as it was though* bv man v. of tho 0 on the spot and the hu"o mujontv of the new-comors, that Itobinson's draper s shop upon which lho burning fragments of the balloon hau desu nded, w is on tin Hie engines had not arnved at thib time, but tlicv carno ..hortlj after at full speed, and weio not long in ( oniplttinp preparation.? to ¿et 1 stream of watei on tj tho buildug A plug wes drawn in Willum strçet, but theoftorts of tilt fnoinen vveio ham- pered at eveiy step bv tho suign.c dowd Bv tho time one of the engmos got to work, however, it was seen that tho expectations of a bro w ero not likelv to be real- ized, as the smoko from the roof hid become much thinner, and the sparks which had been ascending had dis- appeared A few dashes of v ater and tho fire was out the

damage being confined to the burning of a email portion of the roof of the building. L'Estrango, after witnessing tho disappearance of tho last vestifio of his balloon, returned to town and received hearty congratulations from roany fiiends upon his for- tunate Oh-i-apn. It will bo remomliorrd that Mime months n¡^> he mude im ascent from Cook Park, which though ii proved . ui'i-e«»ful fiom a spectnculiir point of view, ontuilcd considerable loss to him. Ho lui. oni-o more nt inimiuont risk to himself fulfilled his pledge to tho public, who, from nil wo hear, have not responded very liberally, and L'Estrango is ti. .in obliged to submit to a hèavv pecuniary

loas, and the destruction of what may bo termed his " stock- .

in-trade."

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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