Bernalillo County – The New Mexico State Police (NMSP) was requested by the Albuquerque Police Department to investigate a hot air balloon crash this morning with multiple fatalities in Albuquerque.
At approximately 7:34 a.m. today, NMSP officers responded to the scene near Unser Boulevard and Central Avenue.
Upon arrival officers located five occupants, the pilot and four passengers. The pilot along with three passengers in the crash sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator.
One male occupant was transported from the scene by emergency personnel to an area hospital in Albuquerque. He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.
The initial investigation indicates the balloon descended toward the ground and struck an overhead power line. The basket became engulfed in flames. Albuquerque police and fire departments arrived on scene and extinguished the fire and rendered aid.
NMSP is working with the Office of Medical Investigator to positively identify the deceased and notify next of kin.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators were notified to investigate the crash. Inquiries into the cause of the crash should be made to the FAA.
The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau, Crime Scene Unit, Crash Reconstruction Unit and the New Mexico State Police Aerial Drone Team are assisting in the investigation. The names of the five individuals will not be released at this time until positive identification have been made and next of kin have been notified.