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Five people dead after hot air balloon crash


(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) — Fivepeople are dead and one is critically injured after a hot air balloon crashed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, authorities said Saturday

A Cameron 0-120 hot air balloon hit a power line just after 7 a.m. about six miles west of the Albuquerque International Sunport Airport, authorities said. The basket the passengers were riding in detached from the envelope, crashed and caught fire.

The basket fell 100 feet, Albuquerque Fire Rescue told ABC News Albuquerque affiliate KOAT.

The envelope kept going and authorities said they located it south of the crash site. Aerial and ground images from the scene suggest it landed in a backyard.

“The balloon just fell off, you guys. Hit an electrical pole,” an astonished witness, Josh Perez, said during a Facebook Live video he recorded near the crash site. “Oh my God, this is sad.”

Police believe the victims’ age ranges are 40s to 60s. Four people — two men, including the pilot, and two women — were reported dead following the crash. Police confirmed Saturday afternoon that a man who was transported to a hospital in critical condition also died.

“Our prayers go out to the friends and family of all five people who tragically lost their lives,” the Albuquerque Police Department said on social media.

It is believed there were five people total on board, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Power initially was out for more than 13,000 customers in the area following the crash, KOAT reported, though has since been restored.

Albuquerque police posted on Twitter that officers are responding to a hot air balloon crash in the area of Central Avenue and Unser Boulevard.

ABC News’ Alyssa Pone contributed to this report.

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