UPDATE 1:50 PM PT: According to AP a Sheriff’s official says that the boy climbed into box attached to balloon, but basket was not found at crash site. The search for Falcon Heene continues in the Fort Collins area.
UPDATE: The balloon has landed in a large, open field, and police say there was no one inside the balloon. Now the question is: where’s the boy?
A 6-year-old boy is trapped in a homemade helium balloon flying out of control near Fort Collins, Colo. The boy has been identified as Falcon Heene, son of Mayumi and Richard Heene. Mr. Heene is a storm chaser and scientist who was working on the aircraft as a potential commuting craft.
The FAA and National Guard are both evaluating the situation. Reports suggest that colder weather later in the day may cause the balloon to slowly lose altitude.
According to a statement from the Larimar County Sheriff’s Office, the boy climbed into the access door of the experimental aircraft. It is believed it can rise as high as 10,000 feet.
It has not been confirmed that the boy is definitely in the craft — some reports suggest that he may have fallen out early in the flight.
Denver’s Channel 7 News confirmed that the family appeared on ABC’s “Wife Swap” in October 2008.
MSNBC is streaming live footage of the runaway balloon.