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Switzerland hot air balloon crash kills American man, seriously injures wife, daughters and pilot

GENEVA Swiss police say a hot air balloon carrying a vacationing American family has crashed near the western Swiss town of Montbovon, killing the father and seriously injuring his wife, two daughters and the pilot.

Police in the state of Fribourg say the 55-year-old man died at the scene when the balloon fell 165 feet after it crashed into an electric power line while trying to land at 8:35 a.m. Tuesday after a two-hour flight from the town of Chateau-d'Oex.

Swiss police examine the basket of a hot air balloon which crashed in the town of Montbovon
Swiss police examine the basket of a hot air balloon which crashed in the town of Montbovon, Aug. 6, 2013. CHSRF

The police said his 55-year-old wife and their two daughters, aged 20 and 24, have life-threatening injuries and were evacuated by helicopter to a hospital.

The 65-year-old pilot also was seriously injured and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Authorities have opened an investigation.

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