Four Killed, One Injured In Arizona Hot Air Balloon Crash

Daily Report January 15,2024

Authorities reported that a hot air balloon crash in Arizona claimed the lives of four people and left one critically injured.

According to the Daily Caller, a group of skydivers jumped from a hot air balloon floating over the Arizona desert moments before it crash-landed on Sunday morning, leaving four of its remaining passengers dead and another person critically injured.

This devastating incident occurred around 7:50 a.m. in a remote desert area after the hot air balloon crash landed, a representative from the Eloy Police Department said.

“We are working closely with federal agencies, including the NTSB and FAA, to investigate the cause of this tragic event,” the news release stated. “While we continue our efforts, we ask for your thoughts and support for the families and loved ones affected during this difficult time.”

The City of Eloy Mayor Micah Powell revealed that there were 13 people on board the balloon gondola – eight skydivers, one operator, and four passengers. The skydivers had exited the balloon’s gondola before the crash.

Eyewitnesses described the balloon as vertical just before it struck the ground with force.

“Though the exact cause of the crash is unknown, preliminary information suggests the crash occurred after the balloon had an “unspecified problem with its envelope,” a rep from the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement.

According to the mayor, one person died on the scene and three other people died after being taken to a hospital. The person who was critically injured was transported to a trauma center in Phoenix.

Authorities haven’t released the names of the victims yet, but the family of one victim, Katie Bartrom, identified her as one of the people involved in the accident. Katie was a 28-year-old nurse from Indiana who loved skydiving and adventure.

Her family described her as someone who lived life with excitement and a love for exploration. Last year, there was a tragic incident near Mexico City where a hot air balloon caught fire, resulting in the death of two people and an injury to a girl.

In 2021, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a hot air balloon crashed into power lines, causing the loss of five lives.

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