Wednesday, September 22, 2021

5 dead in New Mexico hot air balloon crash

A hot air balloon crashed in an Albuquerque, New Mexico, neighborhood on Saturday, killing five people as it apparently blew from the wind into power lines and caught fire, police said.

Police said the pilot and three passengers were declared brought dead on the spot. The fourth passenger was taken to an Albuquerque hospital where he died.

The basket crashed on a roadside in the city’s West Side neighborhood near a pharmacy, about 10 kilometers west of Albuquerque International Sunport Airport, according to a report from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Police said the balloon detached from the basket and landed somewhere else.

Police said the victims were between 40 and 60 years old, but did not release any names. No one on the ground was injured.

Witnesses told police that the balloon hit a power line at 7 a.m. local time.

“We know from experience here in Albuquerque that sometimes there are winds or things that make it difficult for balloons to navigate,” Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said at a news conference.

He said it was not yet clear what happened.

The FAA is investigating the accident along with the police.

The Albuquerque Journal reported power outages in the area affecting 13,000 homes and businesses.

5 dead in New Mexico hot air balloon crash
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