California

3 burned, hospitalized after ‘massive’ hot air balloon hits power line, Calif. officials say

In this March 2015 photo, hot air balloons float in the background behind a Yountville, California, vineyard.
In this March 2015 photo, hot air balloons float in the background behind a Yountville, California, vineyard. AP

A hot air balloon ride in Napa County on Monday ended with three passengers hospitalized, according to local firefighters.

Cal Fire Capt. Aaron Loscar said the balloon hit a power line near Yountville around 8 a.m., leaving one person seriously injured — and requiring a helicopter flight to a hospital — and two others injured badly enough to be taken to a hospital by ambulance, Bay City News Service reports.

Sonoma County radio station KSRO described the 20-passenger balloon as “massive” and reported that it hit the utility line as it was landing in a vineyard.

The airlifted passenger was taken to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, while the less seriously injured riders were taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, according to the radio station.

No one else was harmed, and after hitting the power line the balloon landed safely, the Napa Valley Register reports. The newspaper described the victims’ injuries as electrical burns.

Napa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Henry Wofford said deputies responded to the botched landing, according to Bay City News Service. The sheriff’s office said federal aviation regulators would be alerted to the incident, the Register reports.

Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson Deanna Contreras said workers were sent to fix a downed power line, broken pole and other issues after the balloon incident, which cut off power to 13 agricultural pumps, the Register reports.

Napa County firefighters did not immediately respond to McClatchy’s request for an update on the incident.

Balloon pilots with Topeka's Great Plains Balloon Club set up their balloons for a sunset flight in far southwest Topeka, Kansas.

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