Pilot Arrested After Jumping from Burning Hot Air Balloon Basket, Leaving the Couple to Die

A pilot has been arrested after bailing out of the burning hot air balloon basket in Mexico, leaving husband and wife to die.

According to Daily Mail“The accident took place in Mexico City Saturday, and claimed the lives of two victims, Jose Nolasco, 50, and wife Viridiana Becerril, 38, Mexican authorities have confirmed. The pair were from nearby Caujimalpa de Morelos, a city 12 miles away.”

The incident occurred around 8 am local time and caused the couple – Jose Nolasco, 50, and his wife Viridiana Becerril, 39, burnt to death.

Meanwhile, their 13-year-old daughter, Regina Itzani, jumped from the burning basket to save herself from the flames and was admitted to the hospital with broken bones and second-degree burns.

The girl is expected to survive, per the cops.

“Reports concerning her age have so far been conflicted, with some indicating she was 13 and others saying she was 23. A pilot also may have been on the balloon – which had been flying over a pre-Hispanic pyramid site – but has yet to be located.” 

Now, a new update on the case tells that the pilot of the hot air balloon has been taken into custody for jumping out of the burning basket and leaving the couple to die.

“Victor Guzmán was detained after leaping 16 feet from the stricken balloon and running from the scene Saturday. He was placed in police custody Sunday after visiting a hospital to receive treatment for second-degree burns to his face and one of his arms,” says Daily Mail.

In his statement recorded by the police officials, Guzmán claims that he abandoned the couple because he was frightened as he didn’t know how to deal with the emergency.

“Guzmán, who is facing two alleged homicide charges, told agents assigned to the State of Mexico Attorney General’s Office that he had abandoned the balloon- rented by the family for a surprise birthday trip -because he didn’t know how to respond to the emergency.”

A final selfie that was taken before the tragedy shows the family smiling together one last time before the hot air balloon burst into flames.

Dramatic footage of the tragedy shows the flames engulfing the unlucky basket.

“Reyna Gloria Sarmiento, Regina’s grandmother, told the local press the teenager had yet to be told her parents had died,” The Sun reported.

“It was the birthday of my daughter Viridiana, Regina’s mum, and they had prepared this ride as a surprise for her,” she said.

Gloria also revealed that her granddaughter was conscious and stable in the hospital, and she hugged her parents before jumping out of the burning basket.

In the clip being circulated on social media of the tragedy, an onlooker could be heard saying in Spanish, “My God, people are falling,” as one person jumped from it, with a second seen jumping soon after.

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Sources: Daily Mail – The Sun

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