RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) - Two people are in the hospital after a hot air balloon hit a power pole Wednesday morning.
Around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday the New Mexico Sunrise balloon went down in east Rio Rancho. Police say the gondola hit a power line near Sara and Meadowlark.
Neighbors tell KRQE News 13 they could hear the balloons burners and came outside, noticing that the balloon was flying very low.
Police say the pilot’s chase crew was at the scene waiting for the balloon to land. That landing was anything but a soft one.
Neighbors say the impact caused an explosion and the gondola then caught fire. But they were able to drag both passengers out.
Police say the balloon had a banner number of 193 that belongs to Mark Kilgore of Albuquerque. Police say Kilgore was the pilot at the time of the crash.
Both men in the balloon were taken to UNM hospital, police say one of them had severe burns to his face and chest.
These types of accidents are not uncommon during Balloon Fiesta, on Saturday a balloon hit a power pole and on Sunday another balloon hit some power lines. Both of those were able to make a safe landing.
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