NewsHot air balloon tragedy in Arizona desert claims four lives, injures one

Hot air balloon tragedy in Arizona desert claims four lives, injures one

Hot air balloon. Illustrative photo.
Hot air balloon. Illustrative photo.
Images source: © Getty Images | Jon G. Fuller; Jr.

10:02 AM EST, January 15, 2024

The accident occurred in a desert area near the town of Eloy in the state of Arizona on a Sunday morning, as reported by NBC Los Angeles citing local authorities. According to details provided by the police, there were thirteen individuals onboard the balloon, including eight parachutists, one operator, and four passengers.

The tragic occurrence took place after the eight parachutists had successfully exited the balloon. "The parachutists were able to leave the balloon without any obstacles and completed their planned parachute jumps. However, something happened shortly after that caused the balloon to collide with the ground," said Eloy Police Chief, Byron Gwaltney.

An eyewitness report indicated that during its descent, the balloon's material fluctuated dramatically, and the impact with the ground was severe, as recounted by NBC. One person was pronounced dead at the scene while three others, taken to the hospital immediately after, unfortunately, did not survive.

Investigations are ongoing at the scene of the incident, with the goal of identifying the direct cause of this disaster. The investigation is helmed by both the National Transport Safety Council and the Federal Aviation Administration. As of now, detailed information pertaining to the balloon's flight plan, its take-off location, and destination remain undisclosed. Officers, at this stage, are obtaining information from witnesses and inspecting video footage, as reported by NBC.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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