Balloon suffers rough landing near houses. (Garrison Wells/Observer)


One woman suffered minor injuries when a balloon had a rough landing Friday morning.

The balloon, said a crew member who was chasing it, ran low on fuel and the pilot started looking for a place to land.

He was in an area of houses near the intersection of Golf Course Road and Westside Blvd. at about 10 a.m.

“He was getting low on fuel and  trying to find a place to land,” said crew member Lance Francis. “The ground wind picked up. He was going either 10 to 12 and you don’t want to try to land in a neighborhood, so he was trying to find an open spot.”

The balloon and gondola were lying on their sides with a woman sitting inside the overturned gondola receiving medical help. Marks showed where the gondola had been dragged along the ground in the arroyo it was lying in. The balloon was a part of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Francis said the pilot of the balloon did a good job of landing away from homes.

Several agencies responded, including Rio Rancho Police and Rio Rancho Fire Rescue. Agencies from Albuquerque were also at the scene.

We will update this story as more information is released.