4 Dead, 1 In Critical Condition After Hot Air Balloon Crashed Into Power Line

Photo by Maddie Meyer. Getty.

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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A hot air balloon crashed into a power line Saturday morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico, killing four and injuring one, local outlets reported.

The Albuquerque Police Department arrived at the crash site at Central and Unser at about 7 a.m. Saturday, KRQE reported. Albuquerque Fire Rescue said the gondola fell about 100 feet after hitting the power line, according to KOB 4. (RELATED: Up To 20 Injured After 3 Hot Air Balloons Crash In Wyoming)

The crash caused an outage in southwest Albuquerque, affecting more than 13,000 customers, but was restored at 11:00 a.m., according to KRQE.

Police said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will take over the investigation into the cause of the crash, KOB 4 reported.

Joshua Perez was at the gym during the time of the crash, according to KOB 4.

“I noticed a loud bang,” Perez told the outlet “My girlfriend heard it. as soon as we looked, it was a balloon detached. Everything was detached.”

“You just react first,” Perez added. “I was just thinking ‘save these people, save these people,’ and you could just see them in the ground. No one was moving.” One of the deceased included the pilot, KOB 4 reported.

‘It sounded like gunshots,” he said. “It was a loud ‘boom, boom.’ Quick three. And then that’s when I see the balloon already going by itself, and I was like where’s the basket?”

Perez told KOB 4 that he allegedly turned off the balloon’s propane so it would not explode.