San Diego

Hot Air Balloon Lands Near Rancho Penasquitos Water Tower

No one was hurt when a hot air balloon landed Sunday evening near the Rancho Peñasquitos water tower, authorities said.

The balloon landed on Penasquitos Drive around 7:15 p.m., San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Officer John Buttle said.

Resident Joseph McGhee was having a barbecue with his friends when the balloon went down.

"The wind shifted, I guess, and they kind of got caught in the mountains over here," he said.

The balloon's basket was stuck in the brush and started to tip over when the balloon started going up again, McGhee said.

"Me and my friends ran down here and tried to anchor it until police and firefighters came to help," he said.

There were 14 passengers and the operator on board when it landed, authorities said. People were kept on board for safety reasons until the balloon was fully deflated.

"It took a good 10 minutes for it to deflate," McGhee said. "Once it was deflated then it was pretty stable."

The deflated balloon was lying across traffic lanes and southbound Penasquitos Drive was closed for a time at Del Diablo Way, Buttle said.

No one on board was injured, San Diego Fire-Rescue (SDFD) spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be notified of the incident, Buttle said.

Police said there was plenty of fuel left and they don't know why the balloon went down.

The same balloon also made a similar landing in Rancho Peñasquitos last year.

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