2 Dead in Hot Air Balloon Accident Outside of Mexico City

A hot-air balloon pilot pilots a hot-air balloon over Johannesburg, South Africa, May 15, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
A hot-air balloon pilot pilots a hot-air balloon over Johannesburg, South Africa, May 15, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
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2 Dead in Hot Air Balloon Accident Outside of Mexico City

A hot-air balloon pilot pilots a hot-air balloon over Johannesburg, South Africa, May 15, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
A hot-air balloon pilot pilots a hot-air balloon over Johannesburg, South Africa, May 15, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

Two people died and a girl was injured after the hot air balloon they were riding in caught fire near Mexico City, authorities said Saturday.

Officials in the state of Mexico, which borders the capital, said the girl suffered burns and a broken arm, The Associated Press reported.

According to a video of the incident posted on social media, the occupants of the balloon appeared to have fallen or jumped from the craft.

The dead were listed as a male, 50, and a woman, 38.

The accident occurred near the pre-Hispanic ruin site of Teotihuacan, just north of Mexico City. The area is a popular location for balloon rides.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

Teotihuacan, best known for its twin Temples of the Sun and Moon, was once a large city that housed over 100,000 inhabitants and covered around 8 square miles (20 square kilometers).

The still-mysterious city was one of the largest in the world at its apex between 100 B.C. and A.D. 750. But it was abandoned before the rise of the Aztecs in the 14th century.



India’s Monsoon Rains a Fifth Below Normal So Far

Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
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India’s Monsoon Rains a Fifth Below Normal So Far

Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)

India's monsoon has delivered a fifth less rain than normal so far this season, the weather department said on Monday, in a worrying sign for the vital agricultural sector.

Summer rains, critical to economic growth in Asia's third-largest economy, usually begin in the south around June 1 before spreading nationwide by July 8, allowing farmers to plant crops such as rice, cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane.

India has received 20% less rainfall than normal since June 1, according to data compiled by the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD), with almost all regions except for a few southern states seeing shortfalls and some northwestern states experiencing heat waves.

The rain shortfall in soybean, cotton, sugarcane, and pulses-growing central India has risen to 29%, while the paddy-growing southern region received 17% more rainfall than normal due to the early onset of the monsoon, according to the data.

The northeast has received 20% less rainfall than normal so far, and the northwest some 68% less.

The lifeblood of the nearly $3.5-trillion economy, the monsoon brings nearly 70% of the rain India needs to water farms and refill reservoirs and aquifers.

In the absence of irrigation, nearly half the farmland in the world's second-biggest producer of rice, wheat and sugar depends on the annual rains that usually run until September.

"The monsoon's progress is stalled. It has weakened. But when it revives and becomes active, it can erase the rain deficit in a short burst," an IMD official told Reuters.

The official sought anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail in northern states for a few more days, but temperatures could start coming down from the weekend, the official added.

The maximum temperature in India's northern states is ranging between 42 and 47.6 degrees Celsius (107.6 to 117.7 degrees Fahrenheit), about 4-9 C above normal, the IMD data showed.