In Mexico, a hot air balloon caught fire and the pilot, Victor Guzman, had to jump out to save himself. Unfortunately, the husband and wife could not escape and died in the burning balloon. Their thirteen-year-old daughter was hospitalized after the tragic incident.
Guzman jumped from a hot air balloon that was only sixteen feet high. As a result, he sustained burns on his face and arms and was taken to a hospital on Saturday. Guzman was subsequently arrested on Sunday in connection with failing to assist the family during the tragic incident that resulted in a fatality.
The hot air balloon rose to over 130 feet after the pilot jumped out. The flame continued to burn and the balloon eventually crashed into the ground, causing a fiery inferno. Tragically, the accident resulted in the deaths of Jose Nolasco, 50, and his wife Viridiana Becerril, 39. The crash at the pyramid site in Teotihuacán, State of Mexico on Saturday left their thirteen-year-old daughter critically injured, but she did survive.
Regina Itzani is the surviving daughter who is currently hospitalized with a broken arm and second-degree burns.
Guzman, the pilot, is facing two charges of alleged homicide for abandoning the hot air balloon during a fire. The State of Mexico Attorney General’s Office is investigating whether Guzman left the balloon when it caught fire because he did not know how to handle the emergency situation.
Becerril had been surprised with a hot air balloon ride that took off at 8 am. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the gas which caused the balloon to catch fire and burn completely.
Reyna Sarmiento, Becerril’s mother, arranged a surprise trip and spoke with the thirteen-year-old survivor following the incident.
“The girl tells us that the gas tank there, the hydrostatic gas tank, started to light up, and that was what started to burn,” Sarmiento stated. “She says her parents hugged her, but she turned away from them, and she jumped.”
The Federal Aviation Agency is currently conducting an investigation on the tragic incident. They will determine whether or not the company that employed Guzman had the necessary authorization to operate the hot air balloon ride and if their insurance policy is suitable to cover the accident. Autocinema Retroviso, owned by Zaid Sanchez, was responsible for the hot air balloon. It’s worth noting that Zaid Sanchez’s uncle, Mario Vidal, is the commissioner of the Teotihuacán public security department. This information raises the possibility of corruption being involved.
According to the Teotihuacán Hot Air Balloon Federation, this company is not authorized to provide hot air balloon rides as an official company.
“It is imperative that these same authorities act effectively in order to cancel the operations of companies that, unfortunately, operate outside the legal framework and sometimes in hiding, affecting the safety of the operations of all of us who operate in the immediate vicinity of the archaeological site of Teotihuacán,” the federation stated.