Hot air balloon hits power lines in Massachusetts (+video)

A hot air balloon with six people in the basket hit power lines Saturday, injuring five on board. The FAA is investigating the hot air balloon crash.

By , Associated Press

A hot air balloon crashed into power lines in a Massachusetts neighborhood, injuring five people on board.

The Federal Aviation Administration tells Boston's WBZ-TV that the balloon was attempting to land in the residential area in Clinton, Massachusetts when it hit the power lines around 7:40 p.m. Saturday. Five people on board were burned.

Five of six people in the balloon have varying degrees of burns, ranging from minor to serious, Clinton Firefighter Pat Parker told The Item

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Witnesses tell the TV station there was a huge explosion when the balloon hit the power lines. One witness, Bob King, tells the station he was surprised the balloon riders survived. He says he thought "they were gone."

The Telegram reported:

Based on the registration number on the balloon, it is owned by Damn Yankee Balloons of Dixfield, Maine. A person who answered the company phone Sunday morning declined to comment.

David Graves, spokesman for National Grid, said about 600 customers lost power, in some cases for a few hours.

Jessica Barbosa, 23, of 25 Greeley St. was behind her apartment building attending a cookout with family and friends.

"We saw a big balloon coming up," she said. "It came so low."  She said the balloon hit nearby trees, but it appeared the people inside were having a good time.  "They were waving," she said. "They seemed happy."

But the balloon continued to descend. It hit the wires and screams rang out. The explosion was similar to that of a large fireworks display, Ms. Barbosa said.

The FAA, which is investigating the crash, released a statement:

"A Colt Balloon was attempting to land in a residential area near Clinton, MA when it struck a power line and caught on fire July 19 at 7:40 pm. Please contact local authorities for information on the passengers. The FAA will investigate. All information is preliminary and subject to change."

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Information from: WBZ-TV,

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