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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 17:22 GMT
Air warning after blimp set free
Blimp
The blimp was unleashed 90 minutes after it went up
A football club had to call air traffic control after a promotional inflatable blimp was cut free.

Burnley Football Club flew the airship, bearing the club logo, above the Turf Moor ground ahead of their Queens Park Rangers clash on Tuesday.

But within 90 minutes, someone scaled a wall and cut through the reinforced steel tether to free the blimp.

Police were called and a reward has been offered for its return, but there have been no confirmed sightings.

A club spokesman said: "We called air traffic control because quite often these blimps get spotted by pilots first, but there has been no news so we are really still waiting.

"It was flying on a 200ft-long (61m) cord attached to a container in the corner of the car park, the first 20ft (6m) or so of which are covered in a steel sheath.

You never know how high these things will go
Lancashire police

"It was well-protected, but somebody has climbed on to the container, hooked it, pulled it down a bit and cut through the cord.

"They were certainly persistent, and ran away before anyone saw them."

The spokesman added that someone had called to say the blimp had been seen over Manchester's Trafford Centre, but there had also been a reported sighting of it flying in the other direction over Cliviger, Lancashire.

The club has offered VIP tickets to a match as reward for its return.

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: "Burnley Football Club contacted air traffic control for safety reasons because you never know how high these things will go.

"We have had no information as yet. Who knows where it might end up - perhaps it will be found abroad."



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