High Wind Forces Hard Hot Air Balloon Landings
DENVER - Authorities say gusty winds sweeping through the Denver area Saturday caused several hot air balloon crashes that injured at least five people.
The four unrelated accidents all happened within miles and about an hour of each other.
In rural Boulder County, Sheriff's Deputy Mitch Rosebrough said a dozen people were riding in a balloon that came down at about 9 a.m. in a field southeast of Boulder.
The pilot was trying to land when the basket hit the ground and was dragged about 50 yards. Two women were taken to a hospital for evaluation after complaining of neck and back injuries.
Balloon pilot Jeff Meeker, of Boulder-based Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights, said the incident was not a crash but a "high-wind landing."
"For the safety of our passengers, it was a calculated decision to put it down in the best place we could," he told the Associated Press