The huge helium-filled aerostat, that was the cynosure of all eyes at Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, left a massive depression in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium as it was lifted up, prompting organisers to seek the help of security forces to cover the damage.
About 80 truck-loads of sand was used to fill the space left by the balloon as Delhi Police and central paramilitary forces personnel burnt midnight oil to ground the sand and beautify the stadium, sources said.
The Rs. 44-crore aerostat, which is considered as the biggest Helium balloon of its kind and had attracted criticism for its whopping cost, transformed itself into a huge screen, set about 15 metres above the ground during the events.
The balloon had grabbed the imagination of 60,000 spectators that gathered to watch the Games opening and closing on October 3 and October 14 respectively.
"It was the timely hard work of security personnel posted there which helped us in doing the job on time," a senior official, privy to the Games arrangements, said.