ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a horrific scene for onlookers, with many capturing a hot air balloon crashing onto a busy intersection on their cell phones in Albuquerque Saturday morning. KRQE talked to witnesses who said they’re heartbroken for the families.
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One woman told KRQE she was in her backyard when she saw only the envelope that had separated from the gondola. She rushed there to see if she could help. “I pulled up immediately and when I pulled up – just people crying, people on their phones,” said Tamara Sanchez. “Talking, probably to loved ones. I think (in) shock.”
KRQE reported that one man even tried using a fire extinguisher to help put out the basket when it was on fire. KRQE also got several cell phone videos sent in of the envelope as it floated in the sky after the crash.
At a press conference at the crash site Saturday afternoon, Mayor Tim Keller and APD Chief Harold Medina thanked the many bystanders who tried to help. “Everybody who was here today and who assisted and risked themselves, I just personally want to say thank you from the Albuquerque Police Department and I know it’s proper to say thank you from the community of Albuquerque,” said Chief Medina.
State police and the FAA are working through talking to witnesses about what happened before the balloon hit the power line, separating the envelope from the gondola.