VIDEO: Fifth sufferer dies in scorching air balloon crash in SW Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The police and fire brigade responded to a fatal hot air balloon crash shortly after 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning in the Central SW and Unser area. According to official information, four people, two men and two women, died in the crash – one of the men was the pilot. The fifth passenger was taken to hospital in critically unstable condition, where he later died of his injuries.

The adult male who was taken to the hospital died from his wounds. Our prayers are to the friends and family of all five people who tragically lost their lives.

– Albuquerque Police Department (@ABQPOLICE) June 26, 2021

Authorities say a catastrophic failure occurred in the air and the nacelle has come loose from its shell. According to witnesses, the gondola crashed near the CVS pharmacy in an east-west direction along the Central in an east-west direction. The gondola caught fire and hit the carriageway on Unser Boulevard south of Central.

In a press conference on Saturday, Mayor Tim Keller identified two of the victims as former APD and APS officials Martin Martinez, 59, and his wife Mary, 62. The identities of the remaining victims will not be released until family members have been contacted.

PNM officials confirmed that approximately 13,777 customers were without power as a result of the accident. Power was restored shortly after 11:00 a.m.

Several viewers sent a video of the envelope falling from the sky after it had detached from the gondola. None of the following videos show people falling from the balloon.

According to the police, all five people are said to have been in the gondola when the crash occurred. The victims are between 40 and 60 years old.

Central has reopened, but ours will remain closed south of Central due to the ongoing investigation. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. This is a developing story and News 13 will post updates as they become available.

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