Hot Air Balloon Collides With Power Lines Injuring 3

On June 2nd 2024 at 6:57 PM the Lowell Fire Department was dispatched to the area of 18100 Oklahoma Street in an unincorporated area east of the town of Lowell for a hot air balloon in flight emergency that may have come in contact with power lines, according to a Lowell Fire Department press release.

Video taken by a nearby driver captured the moment the basket caught the powerlines and arched. The driver saw the flash and watched the balloon continue to go up but it did not appear anyone was in the basket any longer.

The hot air balloon was found in the 19000 block of Mississippi street in an area that was south of State Road 2, and that the aircraft had crashed in a bean field. The balloon envelope and basket were still attached to each other and 3 people were found inside the basket, official’s stated. There was evidence on the passenger basket that electrical current passed from the power lines to the basket and injured the three people in the basket. Due to the severe extent of the burn injuries, two medical helicopters were called to the scene. A patient was transported to the University of Chicago by air and the other was transported to Loyola Hospital by air as well. The pilot was transported by ground ambulance to Franciscan Hospital in Crown Point.

The hot air balloon is believed to be owned by Region Ballooning and is one of their new balloons which has only been in the air a few times.

The Lowell Fire Department along with the Lake County Sheriff Department on scene contacted the National Transportation Safety Board’s Response Operations Center. The NTSB provided further instructions to secure the crash site and assigned an investigation officer from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA will investigate the crash site and damage to the balloon envelope and basket Monday.

The Lowell Fire Department thanked all the mutual aid assistance at the scene from other departments which include: Lake County 911 Dispatch Center, Crown Point Fire Rescue, Lake Dalecarlia Fire Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, and Tri-Creek Ambulance Service.

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