Sizzling air balloons meet vans and energy strains on the Albuquerque occasion

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – Two hot air balloons participating in the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta were involved in various accidents Tuesday, with one landing on a truck and the other crashing into a power line.

No injuries were reported in the incidents, which occurred a mile away, said police officer Simon Drobik.

A balloon landed on a parked semi-trailer near an intersection about 7 miles south of Balloon Fiesta Park, where hundreds of balloons will be launched every morning during the nine-day event.

“The gondola landed on the truck and scratched it,” said Drobik.

Another balloon got tangled in power lines on landing, causing around 2,600 customers to temporarily lose power. Drobik said a road was briefly closed while the balloon was cleared and an investigation was being conducted.

The Balloon Fiesta, in its 44th year, draws tens of thousands of spectators along with hundreds of pilots and chases from around the world. This year 550 balloons take part, including more than 100 special shapes such as Darth Vader’s helmet and the giant spotted cow.

Depending on the wind direction, it’s not uncommon for balloons to drift south to more crowded areas of the city during the fiesta. Pilots look for free places to land in store parking lots, in side streets of the neighborhood, or even in backyards.

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This story has been corrected to reflect the truck was parked and not at an intersection, according to new information from police.

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