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3 injured when hot air balloon tears through craft fair

A hot air balloon became unanchored during a fair in Williams and crashed into several vehicles

By Don Sweeney
Merced Sun-Star

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Three people, including an 8-year-old girl, were hurt when an anchored hot air balloon blew loose at an event, Arizona police reported.

The incident took place Saturday, July 6, at a craft fair at a hotel in Williams, KSAZ reported.

Officers responding to reports of an accident at 11:48 a.m. discovered an anchored hot air balloon had blown loose in a gust of wind, the Williams Police Department said.

No one was in the balloon, which was being set up, at the time, police said.

An 8-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy helping prepare the balloon were injured, police said. The girl had rope burns and a broken thumb, while the boy had neck and back injuries.

The balloon and basket blew into several vehicles, damaging them, and struck a woman nearby, police said.

“It was an unbelievable sight to see,” Erin Orozco-Whitaker, a vendor at the craft fair, told AZ Family. “It was very frightening. The balloon just kind of lost control through this field, and the basket was being pulled by the hot air balloon.”

The gust of wind also damaged canopies and tables and blew over a light pole, police said.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified, police said.

Williams is about a 175-mile drive north from Phoenix.

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