One man dead in NH hot-air balloon accident

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The pilot of a hot-air balloon died Thursday after he became entangled and trapped beneath the basket and fell to the ground.

The balloon took off from Post Mills Airport in the late afternoon, police said. The balloon descended and briefly touched down in a field, causing the basket to tip. One passenger fell out and the pilot became entangled in gear as it re-ascended and ended up trapped underneath the basket.

He fell to the ground from an unspecified height and landed in a field on Waits River Road, where he pronounced dead.

Police say the balloon continued north for more than a mile until it became caught in a grove of trees in Piermont, New Hampshire. The three remaining passengers were able to disembark safely. None of the four passengers was injured in the incident.

Police have withheld the name of the pilot pending notification of relatives. His body is being transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy. None of the four passengers were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to respond Friday morning to lead an investigation into the accident.

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