The horrific moment a hot air balloon exploded, leaving one dead and another injured

Posted on 8:55 AM by Sameer Shah

These amazing pictures show the horrific moment a hot air balloon exploded, killing one man and critically injuring another.m

The balloon's gondola erupted into flames when it crashed into power lines and was soon engulfed in the blaze. The pilot and passenger were both caught in the fire.

One died and the other is seriously injured after the accident at the annual balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Witnesses said burning debris was sent flying to the ground as the balloon disintegrated in the fire.

Organisers at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta said it was unclear whether the passenger or pilot had died.

The second man was found unconscious at the crash scene in Bernalillo and remains in a critical condition.

Witness Glenn Vonderahe said he first saw the balloon land, then bounce back up and apparently hit some power lines.

It was caught up in the lines before the balloon section - envelope - broke away without the basket and the propane tanks hit the ground.

The crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, according to National Guard Lieutenant Colonel John Fishburn.

Held every October, the balloon festival is one of Albuquerque's most popular tourist attractions.

Starting in 1972 in a shopping centre car park, it now hosts hundreds of balloons and pilots and draws tens of thousands of visitors to the city.

However, this is not the first fatality at the festival involving balloons becoming caught in power lines.

Last year a 60-year-old woman from California, plunged 70ft to her death and three others were taken to hospital after their balloon became caught up in them.

And in 1982, four people died when propane tanks on a large balloon exploded. Other fatalities were recorded in 1990, 1993 and 1998.

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