New York Daily News
Two adults died and a girl was injured when the hot-air balloon they were riding in over a pre-Aztec archaeological site burst into flames.
The balloon was aloft above Teotihuacan, about 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, when flames started pouring from the base, according to video posted on social media.
The man and woman, a married couple, either fell or leaped from the burning balloon. The girl broke her arm and suffered burns, authorities said Saturday.
Authorities did not know whether a pilot was aboard at the time. The two who died were a husband and wife, ages 50 and 38, respectively, authorities said.
The San Juan Teotihuacán mayor’s office identified the pair as José Nolasco and Viridiana Becerril and the girl as Regina.
“The Cuajimalpa Mayor’s Office extends its condolences to family, friends and acquaintances of José Nolasco and Viridiana Becerril who died this morning due to the collapse of a hot air balloon in Teotihuacán,” local officials said in a statement. “Our solidarity and prayers for Regina, wishing her a speedy recovery.”
The balloon caught fire over San Juan Teotihuacán in the State of Mexico, which borders Mexico City. Teotihuacan was a pre-Hispanic holy city that flourished between the first and seventh centuries A.D. It was abandoned after being razed by fire, according to UNESCO.
The site is renowned for its Temple of Quetzalcoatl, Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon, laid out in alignment with astronomical phenomena, according to UNESCO, which named it a World Heritage site in 1987.
In its heyday it was inhabited by 100,000 people and covered an area of 8 square miles. Hot air balloons are a popular vantage point from which to view the famed buildings.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.
With News Wire Services
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