3 Hurt in New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Mishap

September 24, 2012

Authorities in Albuquerque, N.M., say three people have been hurt after a commercial hot air balloon pilot tried to let the craft’s basket dip into the Rio Grande as it floated past.

Albuquerque Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Romero says the balloon crashed into the river at about 8 a.m. Saturday during the attempted “splash and dash” maneuver.

The balloon ended up on an island in the Rio Grande and technical rescue crews had to rig a rope across the river to bring the injured to shore. Bernalillo County also brought in a hovercraft to reach the balloon.

Romero says none of the injuries appeared to be serious. Eight people were on the balloon.

A KRQE-TV helicopter pilot says the balloon basket was sitting upright on the tree-covered island.

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