Breaking News: 28-Year-Old Nurse from Indiana Among Four Killed in Hot Air Balloon crash in Arizona Desert
Eloy, Arizona – Tragedy struck on Sunday morning when a hot air balloon crashed in the Arizona desert, claiming the lives of four individuals, including a 28-year-old nurse from Indiana. Katie Bartrom, a registered nurse with a passion for adventure and skydiving, was identified as one of the victims by her grieving family.
The ill-fated balloon, carrying a total of thirteen people, including eight skydivers, four passengers, and a pilot, plummeted to the ground around 7:50 a.m., approximately five miles north of the city of Eloy. Eyewitnesses described the balloon as “shapeless” and “deflated” before tragically crashed near Sunshine Boulevard and Hanna Road.
According to Eloy Mayor Micah Powell, the skydivers on board had planned to leap from the balloon and land at the nearby Eloy Municipal Airport. Fortunately, the eight skydivers managed to exit the balloon and complete their planned skydiving event safely. However, tragedy struck shortly after that, as a catastrophic incident occurred, causing the balloon to crash to the ground.
Eloy Police Chief Byron Gwaltney expressed his condolences to the community, describing the incident as an “absolute tragedy.” The balloon had originated from outside the city, and authorities believe that an unspecified problem with its envelope led to the crash.
Sadly, Katie Bartrom was among the four individuals who lost their lives in this heartbreaking accident. Another passenger remains in critical condition at a trauma center in the Phoenix area. Out of respect for their privacy, the names of the victims are being withheld until their next of kin have been notified.
Federal agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), swiftly arrived at the scene to investigate the crash. An NTSB spokesperson revealed that preliminary information suggests the balloon crashed due to an issue with its envelope.
As investigators meticulously examine the wreckage, trucks have been brought to tow the gondola away. The NTSB and the FAA are committed to uncovering the exact cause of this tragic incident.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of all those affected by this devastating hot-air balloon crash. May they find strength and solace during this difficult time.