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The Killer Kites of Bali

Unsafe at Any Altitude When Bali Kites Go Out of Control.

(6/2/2008) Balidiscovery.com has reported in the past how the popular Balinese past time of kite flying represents a threat to local aviation, including the recent grounding of a tourist helicopter when its rotor blades became ensnarled in a kite's string.

A report in the Bali Post also tells of sometimes dire consequence of kite flying in Bali for pedestrians and motorcyclists. On Sunday, May 25, 2008, a strings from a fallen kite stretched across the major thoroughfare of Jalan Cokroaminoto in downtown Denpasar. Unseen by a passing motorcycle driven by 20-year-old Andika Haryanto, the kite string caught the driver in his neck. As a result, the young man lost control of his motorbike. While the motorcyclist suffered cuts and abrasions as he fell to the asphalt, his motorcycle careened into an eight-year-old pedestrian, Gusti, who was standing on the side of the road watching the many kites flying in the sky above. Following the accident Gusti was warded in the emergency care center of Bali's Sanglah Hospital.

Other hazards caused by the oversized Bali kites result when the kites break loose from their ground teams and hit high power lines causing widespread power outages, or when the kites come crashing down unto local streets striking vehicles and causing traffic accidents.

Stories are also not infrequent of motorcyclists suffering horrendous injuries to their faces and eyes as glass-encrusted kite strings used in "fighting kite duels" get stretched across streets where, largely invisible, they injure passing motorcyclists and pedestrians.

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[Kites and Helicopters Donít Mix in Bali]

[See: Yikes! Watch Out for Kites]

[Bali Suffers an Island-Wide Power Outage]

[An Island With Strings Attached]