A hot air balloon has crashed in Park County, Colorado early Friday morning with nine people on board, according to CBS Denver. Officials have said that some of the injuries appear to be life threatening.
CBS Denver reports that at least three people were sent to the hospital and one was airlifted away from the scene, though their injuries were not further clarified.
Park County Undersheriff Dave Wohlers confirmed to CBS Denver that the balloon went down with a “hard landing” at 10:30 AM, CDT, near High Chaparrel Road in Park County.
At the time of the crash, the weather in Park County reflected a 40% chance of precipitation and northwest winds at eight miles an hour, though it’s unclear as of yet whether it was weather conditions that impacted the accident.
A 2014 study shows that hot air balloon crashes are extremely rare, and fatalities from those crashes even more rare. NBC News reported that from 2002 to 2012, only 16 people have died from hot air balloon crashes.
What’s more, NBC News reported that all hot air balloons have to be inspected annually or every 100 hours of flight time, whichever benchmark arrives first. Additionally, hot air balloon pilots are required to complete a successful flight review every two years in order to keep their licenses.
It’s not yet known what company is responsible for the hot air balloon that crashed in Park County, or who the pilot was at the time of the accident.
This is a breaking news post and will be updated as more information comes.