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Couple killed and teenage daughter injured as hot air balloon bursts into flame

Couple killed and teenage daughter injured as hot air balloon bursts into flame

A couple died and their teenage daughter was left with serious injuries after jumping from a hot air balloon when it burst into flames.

Jose Nolasco, 50, and his wife Viridiana Becerril, 39 died after the accident near the pre-Hispanic ruin site of Teotihuacan, just north of Mexico City.

Their daughter Regina Itzani, 13, is in hospital with a broken arm and second-degree burns but is expected to survive.

The family posed for a selfie just moments before the hot air balloon burst into flames, and it emerged the ride was a surprise birthday present Regina and her dad had organised for Viridiana.

Three people were also injured and the pilot of the balloon is yet to be found

Jose Nolasco, 50, and his wife Viridiana Becerril, 39 died in the crash

Reyna Gloria Sarmiento, Regina’s grandmother, told the local press the teenager had yet to be told her parents had died.

She added: ‘It was the birthday of my daughter Viridiana, Regina’s mum, and they had prepared this ride as as a surprise for her.’

Saying her granddaughter was ‘conscious’ and stable in hospital, Gloria also revealed she had hugged her parents before jumping out of the hot air balloon.

Footage of the tragedy taken by an onlooker showed the hot air balloon deflating as flames engulfed the basket below where the Mexican family were enjoying their ride.

The onlooker could be overheard saying in Spanish: ‘My God, people are falling’ as a person plummeted to the ground.’

It was not immediately clear if that person was Regina, or the pilot of the hot air balloon who is said to have been the second person who jumped out of the basket as it was engulfed by flames.

Forensic experts at the scene where the balloon crashed in Mexico

The balloon basket could be seen in flames in the sky

His whereabouts were believed to be still unknown.

An investigation into the tragedy is ongoing. Initial local reports said it could be linked to a fault in the fuel storage system.

Town hall officials in Caujimalpa de Morelos west of Mexico City where the family came from, said in a statement: ‘We send our condolences to the family, friends and acquaintances of Jose Nolasco and Viridiana Becerril who died in the hot air balloon tragedy in Teotihuacan.

‘Our solidarity and prayers are with Regina and we wish her a speedy recovery.’


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