Chinese balloon’s downing creates spectacle over tourism hub
By JAMES POLLARD and JOHN RABY
Associated Press/Report for America
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — The downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon just off South Carolina’s coast created a spectacle over one of the state’s tourism hubs that drew reactions ranging from bewilderment to cheers. The balloon was struck by a missile from an F-22 fighter just off Myrtle Beach, fascinating sky-watchers across a populous area known as the Grand Strand for its miles of beaches that draw retirees and vacationers. Crowds gathered in neighborhoods, hotel parking lots and beaches to watch the balloon hover, with some cheering just after it went down. The festive mood belied the seriousness of the situation, with law enforcement around the county of 366,000 warning people not to touch any debris and to instead call dispatchers.