New Mexico hot air balloon crash kills 5

File Photo: Gephardt Daily

June 26 (UPI) — A hot air balloon crashed in Albuquerque, New Mexico after hitting a powerline Saturday, killing four people at the scene. One other died later at the hospital.

Witnesses told authorities the hot air balloon hit a powerline around 7 a.m., the Albuquerque Journal reported, after which its basket crashed to the ground as the envelope floated away.

“Unfortunately, four individuals died as a result of their wounds from the hot air balloon crash,” the Albuquerque Police Department tweeted, later confirming the fifth death.

The victims range in age from 40 to 60, and the pilot is among the dead, APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos told the Journal.

“We don’t have identities,” he added.

The reason the hot air balloon hit the powerline remains unclear.

“We know from experience here in Albuquerque that sometimes winds kick up or things happen that make it difficult for balloons to navigate,” Gallegos said. “We’re not sure the cause of this at this point. Obviously the FAA will look into this and determine what the cause was.”

The Public Service Company of New Mexico reported thousands of outages due to the crash.


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