2 hot air balloons hit power lines in North Valley

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two hot air balloons hit power lines as they were trying to land in the North Valley Sunday morning.

Balloon Fiesta officials said luckily no one was hurt in either balloon — but neighbors said a fun morning watching balloons quickly turned into a scary scene.

Sparks and fire filled the air near 2nd and Los Ranchos as the red devil balloon hit power lines with three people on board.

Then minutes later, another balloon draped over power lines only blocks away.

Earlier in the day, both of the balloons left the fiesta grounds with hundreds of others as tourists and neighbors looked on.

“We were just out there with the kids watching the balloons land and enjoying the balloons,” said Jonathon Baca, neighbor.

But the scene quickly took a turn.

“The balloon was just coming to make a landing and the basket caught the wire and let off a big spark, you could feel the power from the power line when he hit it,” said Baca.

Multiple neighbors saw the basket hit the line.

"Here I thought they were going to climb to get over that, but they ended up dropping and hitting the power line,” said Marc Arellano, neighbor.

After the balloon hit the lines, people quickly tried to help, including a neighbor who just so happens to work for PNM.

“Immediately we come out here to make sure there were no down power lines or active line, I work for PNM, so I called out Doc Center there was an arced line here and we lost power,” said Arellano.

When the second balloon hit the power lines, luckily they were still de-energized from the first balloon hitting other lines.

“Just having that power line de-energized was a big thing, that probably saved them from either serious injury or death,” Arellano said.

PNM crews were quickly on scene and restored power.

Final update #ABQNW outage. A hot air balloon was temporarily wrapped in power lines. That balloon has since been cleared with no reported injuries. A special thanks to our PNM crews and first responders for working together and keeping everyone safe!

— PNM (@PNMtalk) October 3, 2021