Fort Wayne, IN – A tragic hot air balloon crash in Arizona has claimed the life of an Indiana resident and left others critically injured.
According to the Eloy Police Department, the incident occurred early Sunday morning near Eloy, resulting in four fatalities and one person in critical condition. One of the victims has been identified as 28-year-old Katie Bartrom of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The crash involved a Cameron Balloon A160 hot air balloon, which encountered difficulties leading to its crash-landing in the desert area. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the cause of the crash.
The Eloy Police Department reported that the balloon lifted off with eight skydivers and five additional passengers. All skydivers successfully completed their jumps before the balloon experienced a catastrophic failure. The police and firefighters responded to the crash site, where one victim died at the scene and four were transported to a hospital, with three later succumbing to their injuries.
Bartrom, a registered nurse, was known for her love of skydiving and adventure. The investigation into this tragic event continues as authorities work to determine the exact cause of the crash.