Raw: Hot-air balloon crash leaves 4 injured

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by SCOTT DANIELS and BILL DIVEN

KMOV.com

Posted on September 23, 2012 at 10:51 PM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) -- Four people on a commercial hot-air balloon flight were injured Saturday when a "splash and dash" in the Rio Grande went wrong, according to the Albuquerque Fire Department.

None of the injuries is believed to be serious.  A total of eight people were aboard the flight; three were taken to hospitals for evaluation.

The injuries were mostly bumps and bruises with one possibly a broken ankle, said Scott Appelman, the owner of Rainbow Ryders, which operated the flight.

A statement from the Albuquerque Police Department attributed the mishap about a mile north of Montaño Road to some type of malfunction.

The splash-and-dash maneuver involves lowering the flight path of a hot-air balloon to just nip the river before igniting the gas burners to regain altitude and continue the flight.

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