Manchester fundraising balloon found in China

A helium balloon released at a Manchester primary school's fundraising fete has been found in southern China.

Balloon number 90, bought for £1 for four-year-old Alice Maines, had a note attached promising a trip to Chester Zoo for the person who found the balloon and returned it. It was one of 100 helium balloons released in a fundraising balloon race this July.

The school said it was a surprise when the school received an envelope with Chinese postmarks containing the balloon’s shriveled remains. The balloon was found by Xie Yufei, a 26-year-old air conditioning engineer who had been playing basketball in the industrial town of Guangzhou, 75 miles north-west of Hong Kong and 6,000 miles away from the school playground.

The balloon journey has bewildered meteorologists, who say helium balloons ascend until the pressure drops and the balloon bursts, but there was a chance it could have traveled in a jet stream.

Xie Yufei has not claimed his trip to Chester Zoo, but the school has sent him some drawings. The school declined to comment.

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