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Two hurt in balloon crash

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By Associated Press

 

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A balloon flying in Albuquerque's International Balloon Fiesta hit a power line Wednesday, sending two men to the hospital with burns and injuries from a 40-foot fall, festival officials said.

The balloon got tangled in the lines in Rio Rancho about 9:15 a.m., according to spokesman Tom Garrity. When the passenger reached out to free the gondola, he was shocked, Garrity said.

The balloon was freed, but the gondola crashed to the ground.

Garrity says the passenger and the pilot have been taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital with burns and injuries. Their conditions were not immediately known.

Although photos from the scene showed flames, Garrity said it was unclear if the gondola caught fire.

"We know there was arcing of electricity," he said. "We are still trying to figure out the specifics."

Rio Rancho police spokeswoman Janet Garcia said pictures showed some burns along the top of the gondola, but it did not appear the gondola went up in flames.

The balloon, New Mexico Sunrise, was registered to pilot Mark Kilgore of Albuquerque, Garrity said. But it was not immediately known if Kilgore or a secondary pilot was flying the balloon.


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