Three Killed When Hot Air Balloon Strikes Power Line
The balloon was participating in the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival May 9, 2014 when it hit a power line and the basket quickly burst into flames. There were 2 explosions, the second one severing the basket from the balloon.
Witnesses reported hearing prayers and screams for help from the basket. One of the occupants screamed, “Help me, help me, sweet Jesus, help. I’m going to die. Oh my God, I’m going to die.” Two of the occupants either jumped or fell from the balloon’s basket, which was still very high in the air. Over 100 rescue workers searched for the burned bodies; the third body was not found until 2 days following the crash.
The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed April 22, 2014 near Garfield, Kansas when his plane crashed after striking power lines (Wichita Eagle). The pilot was crop-dusting a hay field for weevils.
Another hot air balloon crashed April 5, 2014 in Noblesville, Indiana after hitting power lines (WTHR 13). 2 of the 7 occupants were injured.
A hot air balloon carrying 16 people clipped power lines April 4, 2014 in Cumbria, northwest England, causing a flash and loud bang (North West Evening Mail). Fortunately, the pilot was able to land the balloon safely.
See Airplane, Helicopter and Hot Air Balloon Accidents Due to Overhead Power Lines for hundreds of similar accidents. These accidents could have been prevented if power lines were buried like all of our other utilities.