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A dozen injured after cold front drags inflated hot air balloons through packed crowd

León, Guanajuato — At least 12 people were injured after strong winds began dragging inflated hot air balloons through a crowd of people. The incident happened Sunday evening during the city’s International Balloon Festival.

It was around 7:30 p.m. when the cold front with strong winds arrived. The wind quickly deflated and forcefully dragged the several large balloons and baskets through the thick crowd of spectators.

According to the León Secretariat for Security, Prevention and Citizen Protection (SSCPP), a gust of wind caused the displacement of the hot air balloons that were inflated in the Metropolitan Park.

“The balloons were immediately secured and the pilots, balloons and vehicles were evacuated from the area, thus avoiding further damage,” said the secretariat.

The involved balloons had crew members inside the baskets who managed to anchor and control the balloons, stopping them from continuing to be blown about. The incident happened on the second day of the festival after a cold front arrived.

The Secretary of Security, Prevention and Citizen Protection of León reported that twelve people were injured after suffering bruises and other minor injuries from the mishap.

Three of the injured were transferred to hospital to receive medical attention, while others were assisted by Civil Protection and Fire personnel on scene.

It was the city’s 21 edition of the hot air balloon festival which this year, attracted more than 200 participants for the three-day event.