In a devastating incident, four people lost their lives and one person was critically injured when a hot air balloon crashed in the desert area of Eloy, Arizona. The crash occurred on Sunday morning in this small town known for its skydiving activities.
The authorities have not determined the cause of the crash, and the investigation is being led by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.
One of the victims, 28-year-old Katie Bartrom, has been identified by her family. Bartrom, a registered nurse from Indiana, was known for her love of adventure and skydiving. The identities of the other victims are being withheld until their next of kin have been notified.
Eloy Mayor Micah Powell revealed that there were a total of 13 people on board the balloon at the time of the crash. Eight skydivers had already jumped before the incident occurred. Witnesses reported seeing the balloon deflating and descending rapidly. Eloy, home to two parachute manufacturers and a major skydiving drop zone, has been deeply affected by this tragedy.
The authorities are working closely to determine the cause of the crash. As the investigation continues, the community is urged to offer their support to the families and loved ones affected by this heartbreaking event.