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New Mexico Balloon Festival: Two Men Injured When Balloon Hits Power Lines

October 9, 2013
New Mexico Balloon Festival

AP Photo/Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau

This Oct. 6, 2012 file image provided by the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau shows the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Officials with Albuquerque's International Balloon Fiesta say a balloon hit a power line Wednesday morning, sending two men to the hospital with burns and other injuries after a 40-foot fall.

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Spokesman Tom Garrity says the balloon got tangled in the lines in Rio Rancho about 9:15 a.m. When the passenger reached out to free the gondola, he was shocked, Garrity said.

The balloon was freed, but the gondola crashed to the ground.

Garrity says the passenger and the pilot have both been taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital with burns and other injuries.

The balloon, the New Mexico Sunrise, was registered to pilot Mark Kilgore of Albuquerque. But Garrity says it is not immediately known if Kilgore or a secondary pilot was flying the balloon.

MORE: Wacky and Incredible Hot-Air Balloons

A giant balloon shaped like the head of Darth Vader lifts off in Putrajaya, Malaysia on March 17, 2011. (Saeede Khan/AFP/Getty Images)


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