Hot Air Balloon Struck Power Line While Landing: NTSB

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The National Transportation Safety Board Tuesday released a preliminary report on the deadly hot air balloon crash in Virginia earlier this month, confirming the balloon hit power lines before catching fire and crashing.

The balloon carrying the pilot and two passengers was coming in for landing in a field near Ruther Glen, Va., around 7:40 p.m. on May 9, when it struck power lines. The impact caused a spark, and soon the balloon basket and a section of the envelope were on fire, according to the report. The balloon then shot up and drifted out of sight.

The NTSB report confirmed multiple witness accounts from the scene that day.

University of Richmond staffers Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis were passengers on the doomed balloon. The pilot, Daniel T. Kirk, had more than two decades of experience, his father told NBC News.

—Becky Bratu