4 Injured after hot air balloon's hard landing

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MAYER, Ariz. (AP) -- Four passengers are being treated at a hospital for minor injuries after a hot air balloon had a hard landing in northern Arizona.

Yavapai County Sheriff's officials say gusty winds forced the balloon to land around 8 a.m. Monday in the community of Old Cordes about eight miles east of Mayer.

During the landing, authorities say the passenger basket struck the ground several times and travelled about 150 yards before coming to rest.

Five other passengers about the balloon and the pilot escaped injury.

Authorities say the hot air balloon owned by Arizona Balloon Works in Cottonwood had lifted off from the Black Canyon Wash near Cottonwood and intended to fly to a landing zone in Camp Verde.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

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