Pilot Thrown from Hot Air Balloon in Rough Landing with 7 People Injured in Resulting Crash

What was meant to be a magical ride above the Nevada desert on Thursday morning turned into a terrifying accident.

Nine people aboard a hot air balloon experienced a rough landing at about 9:30 a.m. north of Goodsprings, Nevada, which is southwest of Las Vegas, Las Vegas Police Sgt. Jeff Dean told local station KVVU-TV.

According to Dean, two people were tossed from the basket in the landing crash, including the pilot, KTNV reported, and the basket reportedly dragged for half a mile before it finally came to a stop.

“We believe that the hot air balloon had come in to make a landing,” Dean told KVVU, saying that the balloon was “not very high” off the ground when two people were thrown from the basket when it tipped over.

Las Vegas police and the Clark Country Fire Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Seven people were taken to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas to be treated for injuries, CNN reported, with one taken by helicopter and the rest taken by ground transportation.

While one woman reportedly suffered serious injuries, she is expected to survive, according to KVVU.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown, but the FAA is investigating, KTNV reported.

According to KVVU, Vegas Hot Air Sin City Balloon Rides was the company behind the balloon ride, but the company did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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While the crash on Thursday is certainly frightening, hot air balloon crashes are pretty rare.

The National Transportation Safety Board has investigated 775 hot air balloon incidents in the United States since 1964, according to NBC News, which reported that experts “stress the safety of flying.”

Hot air balloons in the United States are subjected to rigorous regulations, and commercially operated balloons like the one in Thursday’s crash are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to be inspected every 100 hours of flight time, NBC reported.


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