National News

Three seriously injured after hot air balloon strikes power lines, crashes: FAA

todayJune 4, 2024


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(NEW YORK) — Three people were seriously injured when their hot air balloon struck power lines and caught on fire before crashing into an Indiana field, authorities said.

The incident occurred Sunday shortly before 7 p.m. local time in Hebron in northwestern Indiana, according to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Lindstrand hot air balloon “crashed after striking power lines,” the FAA said in a statement.

Footage of the hot air balloon captured in flight in Hebron on Sunday appears to show the aircraft hit a power line, causing a spark.

First responders with the Lowell Fire Department located the aircraft in a field with the basket still attached to the balloon envelope and three people inside, the fire department said.

“There was evidence on the passenger basket that electrical current passed from the power lines to the basket and injured the three people in the basket,” the fire department said in a press release.

First responders requested two medical helicopters “due to the severe extent of the burn injuries,” the department said.

Two patients were transported by air to Chicago-area hospitals, while the pilot was transported to a local hospital via ambulance, authorities said.

The hot air balloon is registered to Region Ballooning, based in Crown Point, Indiana, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. ABC News has reached out to the company for comment.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating.

The hot air balloon will be recovered from the crash site, located near an airfield, for “further examination,” the NTSB said.

“During the on-scene phase of the investigative process, the NTSB does not determine or speculate about the cause of the accident,” the agency said in a statement.

Hebron is located south of Lake Michigan near the Illinois-Indiana border, about 56 miles southeast of Chicago.

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