Hot air balloon crash kills 4 in Arizona desert

Los Angeles, Jan 15 (UNI) Four people were killed and one person was critically injured when a hot air balloon crash-landed in the U.S. desert state of Arizona on Sunday.

According to the Eloy Police Department, the accident occurred at about 7:50 a.m. local time (1550 GMT) in a rural desert area near the city, which is located about 105 km southeast of Phoenix, the capital city of the state.

Local KNXV news channel reported that a total of 13 people, including eight skydivers, four passengers and a pilot, were in the balloon when the tragedy happened.

The skydivers exited the gondola before the crash, and witnesses told officials that the balloon was straight up and down before a hard impact, the report said.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, the other three victims died later and a fifth person is currently in critical condition in the hospital.

The report also disclosed that National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials said the hot air balloon crashed due to an unspecified issue with its envelope.

The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.

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