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Runaway blimp lands in elderly woman’s yard

WORTHINGTON — A 94-year-old Ohio woman who woke up to discover that a breakaway blimp from a nearby airport had landed in her backyard said she heard a bang during stormy weather but didn’t realize what happened until police knocked on her door about seven hours later.

The 128-foot-long blimp broke free of its moorings at a Columbus airport during strong winds early Sunday, then drifted to the sky, headed eastward and landed in Lillian Bernhagen’s backyard in Worthington, less than two miles from Ohio State University’s Don Scott airfield. No one was aboard and no injuries were reported.

The remnants of a battered blimp were draped over Ms. Bernhagen’s picnic table and birdfeeders, covering half her backyard.

“I looked out the window and I said, ‘Wow!’ ” she said.

Storms had limited the options authorities had to find the blimp until it was spotted in Ms. Bernhagen’s yard.

From wire dispatches and staff reports