POLICE have reassured concerned people that a hot air balloon which was seen in distress in the skies above Redditch was in fact a remote controlled model - the size of a small house.

A call was made to the police by staff at Mount Carmel First School at approximately 12.30pm today when they saw a hot air balloon deflating and falling to the ground.

And the Advertiser also received calls from people who had seen a large balloon falling from the skies, in what is believed to have been the Batchley and Pitckeroak Woods area.

Police sent out 12 officers and dispatched the police helicopter to try and find the balloon, and rescue any possible casualties. The fire service also went on the hunt.

But at approximately 1.30pm, police received a call from a resident to say their remote controlled hot air balloon, which according to reports was "the size of a small house", had broken free of its tether and disappeared.

Police called their search off, and it is till not known where the balloon landed.