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5 die in hot air balloon crash in Albuquerque

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Posted at 11:13 AM, Jun 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-26 16:30:10-04

Five people are dead after a hot air balloon they were in hit power lines in New Mexico's largest city.

Albuquerque police say the crash happened around 7 a.m. on the city's west side.

Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos says the balloon pilot is among the dead.

No identities have been released but fire officials said three males, including the pilot, and two females died.

One adult male was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead.

Police said the multi-colored balloon skirted the top of the power lines, sending at least one dangling and knocking out power to thousands of homes.

The gondola crashed to the ground, and the balloon envelope floated away, eventually landing on a residential rooftop.

Albuquerque is a mecca for hot air ballooning. The city hosts a nine-day event in October that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators and pilots from around the world. It is one of the most photographed events globally.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.