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Significant portion of Chinese balloon payload recovered, US official says

Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — A crane ship on the scene where a Chinese surveillance balloon went down in waters off South Carolina has picked up a significant portion of the balloon’s payload that measured as much as 30-feet-long and had all of craft’s tech gear and antennas, a U.S. official said Monday.

Search and recovery efforts had to be halted at the end of last week because of bad weather and rough seas.

The U.S. military shot down the surveillance balloon on Feb. 4 after it flew across the country for several days.

With regard to other object shots down Friday and over the weekend, the official said the U.S. military continues to look for the remnants from the take out of the sky off the coast of Alaska

While the pilots who shot down that object saw pieces land on ice waters, the official said, the search continues for the debris field amid bad weather. The U.S. wants to pinpoint the exact location before it places personnel in dangerous icy conditions, the official said. A Navy P-8 search plane was in the sky looking for debris.

Concerning the object shot down over Canada, the official said, that country’s government is taking the lead but has not yet located the object’s debris.

And about the object shot down Sunday over Lake Huron in Michigan, the official said, the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian authorities are still looking for the debris that landed on water.

Because there was a good visual of where it may have landed, there is confidence the remnants will be recovered.

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