Hot Air Balloon Crash
Twitter: Austin Council

Hot Air Balloon Crash In Albuquerque Kills Five After Hitting A Power Line

On Saturday, three men and two women died after a hot-air balloon crash in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Albuquerque Police Department (APD) confirmed on Twitter that the hot balloon went into a power line around Central Avenue and Unser Boulevard, which caused power to go out in the area.

“The balloon hit the top wires — the gondola of the balloon skirted along the top wire, caught on fire, and crashed into the intersection,” APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos told CNN. “Unfortunately when police and fire officials arrived they found four deceased on site.”

The fifth person survived the tragedy but later succumbed to his injuries.

“Liz and I are heartbroken by the ballooning accident this morning,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller tweeted. “This is a terrible tragedy for our city and the ballooning community worldwide.”

Retired APD officer Martin Martinez, 59, and his wife Mary Martinez, 62, were among the deceased, the mayor said.

“Their families are experiencing deep suffering right now,” Keller said.

The officer was working security for Albuquerque Public Schools, according to Police Chief Harold Medina.

“Sgt. Martinez will forever be remembered for his lifelong dedication, courage, and selflessness to the profession of law enforcement,” the school district said in a written statement. “He had long careers with both the Albuquerque Police Department and the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department.”

Some of the officers responding to the hot air balloon scene had worked with the fallen officer.

“We did have to send several officers home,” Medina said. “It took its toll on them.”

“It’s just a very tragic situation,” Gallegos said, the Albuquerque Journal reported. “Our officers who arrived first on scene had a tough time when they saw what they saw. These things are just horrible anytime they happen.”

The accident is currently being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board.

About Crystal Gross

Crystal joined BallerAlert in 2020 to renew her passion for writing. She is a Kentucky native who now lives in the heart of Atlanta. She enjoys reading, politics, traveling, and of course writing.

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