Hot air balloon crash in Arizona leaves four dead, one critically injured

January 15th, 2024

In Arizona on Sunday, January 14, a hot air balloon collapsed, leaving four passengers dead and one gravely injured.

Approximately at 7:50 a.m., a sad incident occurred in a desert area in Eloy, a small town with a population of slightly over 15,000, located approximately 65 miles northwest of Phoenix and dubbed the “skydiving capital of the world.”

It took some time to determine what caused the collision.

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The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were in charge of the inquiry.

Katie Bartrom, 28, was one of the casualties, according to her relatives.

According to her mother, Bartrom was an Indiana-born registered nurse who loved skydiving and adventure (ABC 15).

The other victims’ identities were being kept secret until their next of kin was notified.

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The mayor told the New York Times that a witness saw the final moments leading up to the balloon’s crash and said it was deflated and coming straight down.

The chief of the Eloy Police Department, Byron Gwaltney, said some type of catastrophic failure happened, according to the NY Times.

“The Eloy Police Department regretfully confirms that there are four deceased individuals and one person in critical condition as a result of this incident,” the department said in a statement.

“Further information will be provided as it becomes available. We thank the community for their support and understanding as we navigate this tragic event.”


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