At least 10 injured in Colorado hot air balloon crashes

June 9, 2013 05:51


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DENVER- Gusty winds forced the crash landings of four hot air balloons in separate mishaps on Saturday northwest of Denver, leaving at least 10 people hurt, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, authorities said.

All of the aborted flights occurred in wide-open areas frequented by balloon enthusiasts, according to Dana Lewis, a spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kalina said sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles an hour, with gusts of up to 35 mph, were reported in the area at the time of the crash landings.

Lewis said one balloon carrying 10 passengers and a pilot went down inside the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, injuring five people, one of whom suffered "a fairly significant ankle injury."

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