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FAA Investigates Mass. Balloon Crash, Explosions

Power was knocked out in about 600 homes after Clinton, Mass. crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Sunday, Jul 20, 2014)

    The Federal Aviation Administration was on the scene in Clinton Sunday, looking into why a hot air balloon made a crash landing.

    The FAA told NECN that the balloon was trying to land in the residential area when it struck power lines and caught fire.

    Hot Air Balloon Crashes Into Wires

    [NECN] Hot Air Balloon Crashes Into Wires
    This video was submitted to the Clinton Item by a witness to the Clinton, Mass. crash. The audio has been removed due to profanity. (Published Sunday, Jul 20, 2014)

    "It was going pretty low, and I thought it was going to land just over the hill," said Erick Peterson, who witnessed the crash.

    The balloon ultimately crashed into the power lines at the corner of Brook and Greeley Streets, creating two explosions in a dramatic scene Saturday night.

    "You could see the operator was trying to pump up the propane, but it just didn't go up," said Dennis MacDonald, who was at home with his girlfriend.

    The balloon was coming right for MacDonald's house.

    "She says, 'Look at the balloon,' so I look at the balloon, and it was low, and she says, 'It's not going to clear those wires,'" said MacDonald.

    And it didn't. Five people were injured, three were taken to nearby hospitals with burn injuries.

    All of them have since been released.

    MacDonald ran outside to help those on board.

    "First, I wanted to get them out of the basket," he said. "Then, I brought out some ice and towels to apply on the burns."

    The FAA is now looking into what happened and why the Colt Balloon, owned by Derald E. Young of Dixfield, Maine, crash-landed.