2 injured when hot-air balloon hits power line in New Mexico

Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:16 PM

RIO RANCHO, N.M., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was marred Wednesday when a hot-air balloon struck a power line and caught fire, burning two men, officials said.

One of the two men in the gondola of the balloon New Mexico Sunrise suffered severe burns to his chest, face and arms, while the second had less serious burns to his head, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

The University of New Mexico Hospital said Mark Kilgore, 59, of Albuquerque, the owner and pilot of the balloon, was in satisfactory condition, while the newspaper said the condition of the second man, crew chief Daniel Lovato, 66, was unclear.

The incident occurred after the balloon had taken part in a mass takeoff in Rio Rancho Wednesday morning. Rio Rancho police said Kilgore may have been trying to land the balloon when the gondola hit the power line.

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