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Disastrous Balloon Ascent.—On the 18th of April the balloon Zenith made an ascension from Paris, carrying three aëronauts, Messrs. Gaston Tissandier, Sivel, and Crocé-Spinelli. All three were aëronauts of long experience, and qualified in every way for making accurate scientific observations on the meteorological phenomena of the upper strata of the atmosphere. They carried with them a full set of such philosophical instruments as would be of service in ascertaining elevations, constitution of the atmosphere, temperatures, and the like. They carried also a supply of pure oxygen, for use when the air should be found too rare to support respiration. Having risen to the height of 7,000 metres (22,960 feet), Tissandier observed that his companions looked pale; he himself felt weak, but refreshed himself by inhaling a little of the oxygen. Sivel soon after threw out ballast, and the balloon commenced to ascend rapidly. All at once Tissandier was so feeble that he could not even turn his head; he tried to seize the oxygen tube, but was unable; his mind still lucid. Looking at the barometer he saw that it indicated an elevation of 8,000 metres (26,240 feet), but he had not the strength to call the attention of the others to the fact. He soon after fell into a sort of swoon, but twenty minutes later revived for a moment, finding the balloon descending rapidly. Sivel and Crocé were now lying at the bottom of the car insensible. Again he sank fainting, and a few minutes later found himself shaken by the arms, and, looking up, recognized Crocé, who told him to throw out ballast, for the balloon was descending at a very rapid rate.
Croce now unfastened the aspirator and threw it out, as also some ballast, extra wraps, and the like. This caused the balloon again to ascend, and Tissandier relapsed once more into insensibility. On recovering consciousness, he found the car rushing