Massive Zeppelin Damaged in Tustin Hangar Collapse

Massive Zeppelin Damaged in Tustin Hangar Collapse

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Debris from a roof collapse at a decommissioned military hangar in Tustin today plopped onto an experimental $35 million aircraft, causing a helium leak.

The collapse left a 25-by-25-foot hole in the ceiling and caused a helium leak in the 254 foot long airship about 7:45 a.m., Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said. No one was injured, he added.

Officials cleared the area about 1 p.m., Concialdi said.A hazardous materials team and a gas company crew also were dispatched to the scene to evacuate the leaked helium. Helium is an inert gas and there was no danger of explosion.

The World War II-era hangar at 15499 Red Hill Ave. housed the Dragon Dream,  the airship owned by   Worldwide Aeros.   Fox 11 covered the story of the zeppelin's maiden voyage just last month. See the story here.

Officials are  still evaluating the damage. "While unfortunate, our initial assessment shows that the damage is repairable," Said spokesman John Kiehle ."We are grateful nobody was injured, and want to thank local first responders for their efforts this morning."

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