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breaking news 4 dead, 1 critically injured after hot air balloon crash in New Mexico

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Four people are dead and one is critically injured after a hot air balloon crashed into a power line in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday morning, police said.

Witnesses told police the balloon crashed into power lines. The gondola caught fire and fell about 100 feet, authorities said, and the balloon detached from the basket and was found separately in a backyard.

Four people — two men and two women — were pronounced dead on the scene, police said. One man was transported to a hospital and remained in critical and unstable condition.

The balloon’s pilot was among the dead, and all five victims were believed to have been riding in the hot air balloon, with ages ranging from 40 to 60 years old, according to police. Police said they would release the victims’ names once they could notify their next of kin.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue said the cause of the crash was unknown.

More than 13,000 people were left without power due to the balloon crash, according to officials at New Mexico energy provider PNM electric. The company tweeted that emergency officials had since cleared the company to begin the process of re-energizing the line and restoring power. 

“While work with this balloon incident continues, PNM is asking customers to plan ahead for the next few hours as outside temperatures rise and be ready to implement a back up plan,” PNM tweeted Saturday morning.

The company also wrote, “Everyone at PNM is deeply saddened by these tragic losses.”

Michelle Lujan Grisham, the governor of New Mexico, tweeted Saturday that her prayers were with the loved ones of those affected. She wrote, “I’m incredibly saddened to hear of this terrible tragedy in Albuquerque.”

New Mexico State Police assisted at the scene of the incident, and the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. 



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