BREAKING NEWS: At least four are killed and one critically injured in hot air balloon crash in New Mexico after it ‘blew into power lines’
Four people have been killed and one critically injured in a hot air balloon crash in New Mexico after it flew into power lines, according to authorities.
The aircraft came down on a street corner in the West Side neighborhood of Albuquerque around 7am Saturday, about six miles from Albuquerque International Sunport Airport.
The balloon is thought to have been blown by the wind into power lines, causing it to catch fire and the basket and balloon to separate.
The basket then plummeted to the ground landing close to a local CVS pharmacy.
Five people were flying in the craft at the time. Two men and two women including the male pilot were killed while a fifth victim is in a critical condition in hospital.
All the victims were aged between 40 and 60 years old.
Their identities have not been released but they are confirmed to all have been flying in the craft at the time, with no injuries reported on the ground.
At least four people have been killed and one critically injured in a hot air balloon crash in New Mexico after it flew into power lines, according to authorities
Albuquerque Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said at a press conference that the multi-colored balloon skirted the top of the power lines at around 7am.
Witnesses said the basket was on fire when it crashed in the street with several bystanders rushing to try to put the fire out, reported KOAT.
The balloon was later found in the backyard of a home about a mile away.
‘Unfortunately, 4 individuals died as a result of their wounds from the hot air balloon crash,’ the police department said.
‘One additional individual was transported to a local hospital and is currently in critical and unstable condition.’
Gallegos said it was not clear what had caused the balloon to strike the power line but ‘sometimes winds kick up or things happen that make it difficult for balloons to navigate.’
‘Our balloonists tend to be very much experts at navigating, but sometimes we have these types of tragic accidents,’ he said.
The collision also left one of the lines dangling down and cut off power to more than 13,000 homes in the area.
Crews were seen working to fix the downed line and restore power as soon as possible.
Albuquerque Police, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.
Emergency crews on the scene of the hot air balloon crash Saturday in New Mexico
Crews repair the power line following the collision Saturday that left at least four dead