According to preliminary reports, the hot air balloon struck a power line. Upon coming in contact with the power line, the balloon caught fire and plunged to the ground killing all the balloon’s occupants.
The accident was first reported as an automobile accident, but when officers arrived at the scene they found the balloon on fire.
The incident is the most deadly hot air balloon accident in U.S. history.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the regulations for operating hot air balloon tours are severely lacking.
The NTSB has recommended more stringent requirements for hot air balloon operators, but they have been denied by the Federal Aviation Authority.
The NTSB warned the FAA of the dangers of unregulated air balloons in 2014 and 2016.
There have been 25 balloon accidents since 2014 with 4 fatalities and 25 serious injuries.