Even though the world is in the midst of a helium shortage, Mylar balloons are still popular for a range of celebrations. However, after footage was released showing these metallic, floating gas containers exploding when they come into contact with some high voltage power lines, some may think it’s another solid reason to reconsider the tradition.
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The incident involving the exploding balloons took place in Long Beach, California. The two Mylar star-shaped balloons became entangled in some high voltage power lines after being released into the air, either accidentally or intentionally.
The video was captured by a member of a crew working on the power lines nearby. The workers were instructed to climb down from the pole in case the Mylar balloons contacting the lines would cause an explosion.
While the head of the crew did call in to have the lines de-energized before an incident occur, the task wasn’t completed fast enough.
The Mylar balloons did cause an explosion, damaging two of the three lines.
Mylar is a conductive material, and contact with the power lines likely created a short circuit. While helium is volatile, it is not inherently flammable.
The resulting explosion knocked out power in the area for a few hours while the damage was repaired.
No one was reportedly injured by the blast.