Balloon Accidents Kill 6 Near Aspen
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) _ A pair of hot-air balloon accidents near this resort community Sunday killed six people and injured 11, authorities said.
One balloon was blown into a power line, which severed its basket, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Smith said. The basket fell about 100 feet, killing all six people on board, he said.
The names of the victims were not immediately released. The balloon’s operator, Aspen Balloon Adventures, refused to comment.
A few minutes after the accident, another balloon, carrying 11 people, was blown off course and struck a fence on a ranch, Smith said.
Witnesses said it became airborne again and skimmed across a meadow before tipping over.
Smith said the pilot and all 10 passengers were injured, seven seriously.
The balloon, operated by Unicorn Balloon Co., had taken off from downtown Aspen and floated five or six miles to Woody Creek, he said.
Unicorn Balloon owner Fred Gorrell said a light rainstorm that developed after the balloon was airborne probably contributed to the accident.