Tourists land in India jail after balloon drifts

A vendor selling balloons waits for customers on the banks of the river Yamuna during the Hindu religious festival of Chatt Puja in New Delhi on Oct 29, 2014. Two foreign tourists on holiday in India unwittingly landed in jail this week after st
A vendor selling balloons waits for customers on the banks of the river Yamuna during the Hindu religious festival of Chatt Puja in New Delhi on Oct 29, 2014. Two foreign tourists on holiday in India unwittingly landed in jail this week after strong winds blew their hot air balloon off course. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Two foreign tourists on holiday in India unwittingly landed in jail this week after strong winds blew their hot air balloon off course.

The two sisters from the West Indies were enjoying a ride over the desert in the western state of Rajasthan on Tuesday when the balloon's pilot lost control, forcing him to make an emergency landing.

Indian media said the balloon landed in the prison yard, to the consternation of officers.

"When the operator saw that they were sailing over the Anasagar Lake, he got alarmed and tried to control the movement of the balloon," the Indian Express quoted local police inspector Hanuman Vishnoi as saying.

"The nearest landing was the police lines and even though he steered towards it, the strong winds made the balloon travel further up to Ajmer jail."

Authorities have responded by cancelling balloon rides over the area, Indian media reported.