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A man has been found safe after he spent two days in a hydrogen balloon looking to harvest pine nuts from a tree, according to Chinese state media.

The balloon became untethered when the man, identified only by his surname, Hu, and a partner lost control in a forest park in Heilongjiang province in north-east China as the balloon set off on a 200-mile journey.

While the other person jumped safely to the ground, a search was immediately begun for Hu who remained in the balloon.

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The state Chinese broadcaster said that the rescuers were able to contact Hu by phone the next morning and instructed him to deflate the balloon slowly in order to land the balloon in the safest manner possible.

Hu ended up reaching ground in the Fangzheng region which is close to the border with Russia, a day later and according to CCTV, aside from pain in his lower back which was possibly down to standing the entire two days in the balloon, he was in good health.

An official with the surname Fu, who works at the publicity department of the Hailin Forestry Administration confirmed that the balloon incident occurred and described Hu as being a man in his 40s.

The pine nuts Hu was attempting to harvest are found inside pine cones and are used in dishes which are usually served in north-east China.

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He confirmed that Hu has continued recovering in a hospital but declined to give further details on his condition.

Video footage of the balloon was taken and posted on Twitter with the caption saying: "A man in Heilongjiang, China, floated away because the rope was not fastened when he took a hydrogen balloon to pick a pine tower.

"Police are looking for, so far, hydrogen balloons and people have not been found."

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