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433 hot air balloons soar into the record books

AFP logoAFP 7/26/2015 Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
Hot-air balloons fly near Chambley-Bussieres, eastern France, on July 26, 2015. Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Images © Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Images Hot-air balloons fly near Chambley-Bussieres, eastern France, on July 26, 2015. Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Images

Four hundred and thirty-three hot air balloons lifted off from an air base in eastern France on Sunday and soared straight into the record books.

The balloons, including some spectacular designs such as a French chateau and rotund cartoon character Obelix, took off from Chambley-Bussieres air base to beat the previous record for simultaneous hot air balloon flights.

The previous record was set at the same spot in 2013 when 391 ballons went up.

"A new page in ballooning history has been written," said Philippe Buron-Pilatre, organiser of the twice-yearly Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons event.

The biggest dangers for the balloons, which were arrayed in parallel lines six kilometres (four miles) long for the takeoff, was that two of them might collide causing tears in their fabric, something that has happened twice since 1989, he added.

Enthusiasts from over 40 nations took part.

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