Five people died after a hot air balloon hit power lines in New Mexico’s largest city on Saturday, police said.
“Unfortunately, 4 individuals died as a result of their wounds from the hot air balloon crash,” the police department originally said in a tweet early Saturday morning. “One additional individual was transported to a local hospital and is currently in critical and unstable condition.” That individual later succumbed to his wounds at the hospital.
According to KOAT 7 Action News, Albuquerque police later found that the gondola of the balloon had detached from the envelope and plummeted 100 feet by the CVS Pharmacy near Central Avenue and Unser Boulevard. The envelope was eventually found about a mile south of the crash site. As a result of the crash, at least 13,777 people lost their power. All the victims were between the ages of 40 to 60, and the pilot was one of the deceased. Three of the deceased were male and the other two were female. The cause of the incident remains unknown and the victim’s names have not yet been released. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will soon investigate the cause of the crash.
One terrified witness uploaded to Twitter a video of the gondola plummeting through the sky. “Power went out first,” the witness wrote on Twitter. “Looked out my window saw it falling with no basket. Horrible.”
Power went out first. Looked out my window saw it falling with no basket. Horrible. pic.twitter.com/5m5jWUpsmC
— KarMaWorKs JT ?? USA (@KJT8899) June 26, 2021
Albuquerque is a center for ballooning. The city hosts a nine-day event in October that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators and pilots. It is one of the most photographed events globally.