(NEW MEXICO) JUST IN: At least five killed in a ‘hot air Bolton’ on Saturday after it hit a power line and crashed into the street #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.28: Five people have died after a hot air balloon accident in the US state of New Mexico: Three of those killed were men and two were women, all between the ages of 40 and 60, police said.

ALBUQUERQUE: Police said the balloon hit electric power lines in the city before plummeting to the ground: The crash happened around 7:00am on Saturday, causing 13,000 homes to lose power.

A colourful hot air balloon falls from sky in distance over houses and trees
Witnesses saw the balloon’s envelope falling from the sky over Albuquerque.(AP: Adolphe Pierre-Louis)

Four people died at the scene, while a fifth succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

Rescue workers help injured people on a street with emergency vehicles parked around them.
Emergency workers treated victims at the scene of the crash.(AP: Adolphe Pierre-Louis)

The balloon’s gondola fell about 30 metres and crashed in the middle of a busy street, catching on fire, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Bystanders frantically called out for a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, video posted online showed.

“The balloon hit the top wires — the gondola of the balloon skirted along the top wire, caught on fire and crashed into the intersection,” police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said.

The envelope of the balloon floated away, eventually landing on a residential rooftop, Mr Gallegos said.

Authorities are yet to determine what caused the crash.

Albuquerque is a popular destination for hot air ballooning, hosting a nine-day event every October that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators and balloon pilots from around the world. 

An elderly woman comforts an elderly man next to a roped off emergency area outdoors
Ursula Richards comforts fellow pilot Buzz Biernacki at the crash in Albuquerque. (AP: Adolphe Pierre-Louis)

In 2016, in the neighbouring state of Texas, a hot air balloon hit high-tension power lines before crashing into a field, killing all 16 people on board.

Federal authorities said at the time it was the worst such disaster in US history.

“Our balloonists tend to be very much experts at navigating, but sometimes we have these types of tragic accidents,” Mr Gallegos said.

Wires/ABC

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.28: 2021:

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#crash, #hotair-balloon, #new-mexico