Unconfirmed explosion video above Montana after balloon sighting
Just a day after Pentagon said a Chinese balloon was detected in the US airspace, a video of an alleged explosion over Billings, Montana, circulates on social media.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte confirmed on Friday that he was notified of an unconfirmed video of an explosion above Billings, Montana, a day after the Pentagon detected what it called a Chinese surveillance balloon in the area.
"I was notified of it [the alleged explosion] minutes before we came on the air. We are monitoring the situation and I'm talking to our National Guard to find out if they have additional information. I'm sure I'll be briefed here in the next hour," Gianforte said after a video of an alleged explosion circulated on social media.
Ok, so here’s what I just caught I few minutes ago out my window. I saw a jet go by so fast and then explosion in the sky. Holy crap! Billings MT. pic.twitter.com/swr8ERC6pf— Dolly Moore (@MMtTreasures) February 4, 2023
On Twitter, Congressman Matt Rosendale announced that he reached out to the Commanding Officer at Malmstrom Air Force base for details.
The explosion, which is yet to be verified, comes after some critics wondered why the US did not shoot down the first balloon.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson made it clear that the entry of the Chinese balloon into US airspace on Friday was accidental and regretted the unintended breach of US airspace.
The Spokesperson said the balloon had strayed away from its planned course due to force majeure, confirming that the airship is civilian and is "used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes."
"Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course. The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into the US airspace due to force majeure," the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson explained.
Following the incident, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had told Wang Yi, director of China's Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, that the incident on the eve of his trip was an "irresponsible act" by China.
At a news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin on Friday, Blinken announced postponing his trip to China, saying he would not set a date for the visit.
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