3 injured when hot air balloon hits power line near Yountville
YOUNTVILLE, Calif. (KTVU) - Three people were injured when a hot air balloon hit a power line near Yountville Monday morning.
The incident happened around 8:10 a.m. in the area of Ragatz Lane and Washington Street.
"As they descended, according to the pilot, may not have been able to see the power lines, or did not pick them up, and ended up passing between two power poles, taking down the lines as it passed through," said Battalion Chief Jason Martin of Cal Fire Napa County.
Three of the passengers sustained electrical burns.
"We had two minor injuries and one moderate to major injury due to burns from the power lines," said Chief Martin. The more seriously injured passenger airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center burn Center in Sacramento. The other two were taken by ambulance to Napa's Queen of the Valley Hospital.
Contractor Franz Gorski and his son were building a house when they noticed three land.
"I didn't see the flash. It was just one of those things that happened and we really didn't know it was an emergency until we started seeing the emergency responders. Boy, there was a lot of them and there was the helicopter. You know it was like the world was coming to an end. It was pretty crazy," said Gorski.
"It came down a pretty good speed. But, like I said, you can't steer them. You can't operate them. So when they come down, they come down," said construction foreman Eric Young.
In February, a hot air baloon made a hard landings on Skaggs Island, resulting in two minor injuries to passengers, statistically, hot air balloon accidents are few and far between. In the half century from 1964 to 2014, the U.S. experienced about 15 balloon accidents a year. In all that time, 70 people were killed.
The Federal Aviation administration, which hot air balloon pilots will investigate as will the National Transportation Safety Board since this was a transportation accident.