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Google Loon Wi-Fi balloon creates panic in New Zealand

Google Loon Wi-Fi balloon creates panic in New Zealand


Rescue helicopter dispatched for what was thought to be a crashing plane

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When Google began testing its Wi-Fi enabling balloons, the company probably wasn't expecting to cause panic in New Zealand. The Wall Street Journal writes that the country's emergency services were contacted on Friday after one of the tech giant's balloons was mistaken for a crashing plane. A rescue helicopter was sent to investigate the presumed wreckage, which was reported to be seen off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Google has confirmed that one of its balloons had indeed landed in the sea. The Wall Street Journal was later told that it was difficult to keep balloons in one place because of wind conditions. Revealed last year, Google's Project Loon involves deploying hundreds of these balloons in an attempt to provide Internet coverage to remote locations throughout the world. Unfortunately, the company's endeavors have also caused some complications and were recently responsible for knocking out power lines in a Washington town.