- The pilot hopped off the balloon when it burst into flames and left the family behind, per reports.
The pilot of a hot air balloon in Mexico is facing homicide charges after leaving a family behind earlier this month while the ride caught on fire, according to reports.
José Edgar Nolasco, 50, and Viridiana Becerril, 39, booked the excursion near the Teotihuacán pyramids in Mexico City, a tourist attraction, on April 1. The couple, along with their 13-year-old daughter, was there to celebrate Becerril’s birthday.
A harrowing video shows the blue balloon’s basket burst into flames. Per outlets, the child hopped out of the basket before it crashed into the ground. She was transported to the hospital after suffering from severe burns and a broken bone, according to the BBC, but has been released.
Her parents were killed during the incident.
The pilot, identified as Victor Guzman, was arrested earlier this month for leaving the scene. Authorities allege he was able to escape off the balloon when the fire started but did not help the family, the outlet reported.
Mexican officials tracked Guzman down to a hospital down in the state of Hidalgo, where he was treated for his injuries. The outlet said he is in pre-trial detention. Officials have not noted what caused the fire, the outlet said.
The Federation of Hot Air Balloons of Teotihuacán said their balloon was not used during the incident — as an investigation from Mexico’s Federal Aviation Agency is underway.