Five people have been reported dead on Saturday after a tragic hot air balloon crash in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The unfortunate incident ensued after an occupied rogue hot air balloon collided with an active power line, leading to its basket being severed from the balloon. Its passengers were sent falling to the ground near a busy intersection in the northwestern portion of the city, Fox News reported.

Four victims brutally died on the scene, while another was rushed to a local hospital in a critical condition. However, the fifth passenger was pronounced dead around 3:00 p.m. on the same day after succumbing to his fatal injuries.

All victims were reportedly middle-aged sightseers.

As of the writing, Albuquerque Police Department officer 59-year-old Martin Martinez and his wife, 62-year-old Mary Martinez, and the balloon pilot, Nick Meleski, were among the identified victims of the crash, while the other victims are yet to be identified.

"If you have ballooned, there are always things that can happen, whether it's winds, whether it's equipment," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said at a press conference Saturday afternoon. "It's something that our pilots always train for, but it's always something that, it can inherently sometimes occur."

"There were a number of citizens, residents of Albuquerque who ran into a very difficult scene, including an individual with a fire extinguisher, and they just tried to do what they could," Keller added.

The National Transportation Safety Board has assigned two officials to investigate the scene. The Federal Aviation Administration will also participate in the investigation of the forlorn incident, police said.

KOB 4 reported that balloon pilots were “heartbroken,” especially on the death of their co-pilot and “brother,” Nick Meleski.

"He was a great pilot, I've known him a long time – he'd do anything for ya," a colleague named Noe said. "If you were down in the dumps, he'd try to cheer you up, 'come on, let's go!' If you were hesitant about putting your happy face on, he'd do what he could to help you change."

According to an NTSB database, 12 fatal hot air ballooning accidents have been recorded in the United States since 2008 with two of those striking in Rio Rancho just outside Albuquerque.

hot air balloon
A Colorado couple had a lucky escape from death after their adventure for a hot air balloon ride led them to crash twice near Waterton Canyon during their anniversary celebration on Sunday morning.  This is a representational image. PIXABAY

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