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Hot air balloon struck Indiana power lines, burning three people in basket

Balloon Crash
Posted at 3:27 PM, Jun 04, 2024

LOWELL, Ind. (AP) — A hot air balloon struck power lines before crashing to the ground over the weekend in northwestern Indiana, injuring the pilot and the two passengers, officials said Tuesday.

The balloon contacted the power lines Sunday evening in Hebron, Indiana, about 56 miles (90 kilometers) southeast of Chicago, the Federal Aviation Administration said in an email to The Associated Press.

A flash of light can be seen as the balloon rises past power lines in a video recorded from a vehicle on an adjacent road.

The balloon crashed about 7 p.m. in a field about 13 miles (21 kilometers) southeast of Hebron, according to the Lowell Fire Department. The injured passengers and pilot were inside the balloon's basket when rescue personnel arrived.

Evidence showed that an electrical current passed from the power lines to the basket, the fire department said in a social media post. All three people suffered burns.

Medical helicopters transported the two passengers to hospitals in Chicago. The balloon's pilot was taken to a hospital in nearby Crown Point, Indiana. Their names and conditions have not been released.

The FAA described the information as preliminary and said the National Transportation Safety Board is leading an investigation.