Burlington hot air balloon crash; witness, responder describes scene

Three people were taken to the hospital Wednesday after a hot air balloon collided with a train in Burlington. 

Police said people saw the hot air balloon in distress prior to the crash. Alex Marino told FOX6 News hot air balloons flying over Burlington is a common sight. This time, though, something looked different.

"They were flying over for like an hour, and we are like: ‘They are kind of low,’" he said. "We both were just kinda like, ‘It looks like it going to crash you guys.’"

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Marino's instincts kicked in. The former military member started running over.

"I jumped underneath the railroad track, and I was the first person there," said Marino. "The conductor of the aircraft, his head was just split open."

Low-flying hot air balloon before Burlington crash

Burlington police said the hot air balloon was trying to land near Echo Lake when it collided with a northbound Canadian National train around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.

All three people who were injured were occupants of the hot air balloon. They were seriously injured and taken to the hospital, but were released Thursday.

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Police identified the three as a 62-year-old pilot from Bristol and two passengers in their 30s from Illinois. 

The cause of the collision remains under investigation.