Latest News Headlines

Five people killed after a hot-air balloon crash in New Mexico’s largest city

1

Multicolored balloons are said to have covered the tops of power lines, knocking out at least one hanging power line and sending it to thousands of homes.

Police said Saturday that the parents of Albuquerque police officers were among the five who died after the hot-air balloon they were riding in crashed on a busy city street.

According to police spokesman Gilbert Galegos, the clash occurred west of Albuquerque around 7 am. Police have identified two of the passengers as Martin Martinez, 59, and Mary Martinez, 62. This is the parents of a prison transporter at the Albuquerque police station.

Police did not immediately disclose the names of others, but said male pilots and female and male passengers came from central New Mexico.

According to officials, Martin Martinez was also on a bicycle patrol for the Albuquerque police, but more recently in a local school district. According to police chief Harold Medina, some of the Albuquerque police officers who responded to the crash were working with him and were sent home for damaging them.

“No matter how big we are, we are still a close community and we really emphasized that such incidents affect us all,” Medina said.

The intersection where the balloon crashed was still closed late Saturday afternoon. According to police spokesman Gilbert Galegos, colorful balloons covered the top of the power lines, at least one hanging, temporarily powering more than 13,000 homes.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the gondola fell about 100 feet (30 meters), crashed at the median of the street, and ignited. Bystanders desperately called on the fire extinguisher to extinguish the flames and prayed aloud, a video posted online showed.

The balloon’s envelope emerged and eventually landed on the roof of the house, Galegos said. The FAA did not immediately know the details of the balloon registration, but identified the balloon as Cameron 0-120.

Authorities have not identified the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will send two investigators to the scene on Saturday to investigate the pilot, the balloon itself, and the operational environment, spokesman Peter Knudson said. Preliminary reports are usually available in a few weeks.

Hot-air balloons can be difficult to manage, especially when the wind blows, Galegos said.

“Our balunists tend to be navigating experts, but such tragic accidents can happen,” he said.

Albuquerque is a mecca for hot air balloons. The city will host a nine-day event in October, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators and pilots from around the world. This is one of the most photographed events in the world.

Residents of the Albuquerque region are treated with colorful displays of balloons floating above their homes and along the Rio Grande river all year round. Accidents are not common, but they do happen.

Tim Keller, Mayor of Albuquerque, said:

According to the NTSB database, 12 fatal hot-air balloon accidents have occurred in the United States since 2008. Two of them happened at Rio Rancho, just outside Albuquerque. In January, a passenger expelled from the gondola after a hard landing was injured and died.

In 2016, in neighboring Texas, a hot-air balloon crashed into a high-voltage power line and then into a meadow in the central part of the state. All 16 people on board died. Federal officials said it was the worst disaster in US history at the time.

Five people killed after a hot-air balloon crash in New Mexico’s largest city

Source link Five people killed after a hot-air balloon crash in New Mexico’s largest city

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.