Two people are safe after Athens officials said a hot air balloon crashed into power lines on Saturday morning.
Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said one of his officers spotted the balloon descending, so he followed in its direction. When it was clear it was heading for power lines, he alerted Athens Fire and Rescue.
The balloon eventually hit power lines on Cambridge Lane, south of Highway 72, near Newby Road. When the balloon hit the line, it caused some lines to fall and a small fire started on the ground.
Fire officials said the balloon operators tried to raise the balloon off of the power lines, but it started tearing instead.
Eventually, the man and the woman in the basket were slowly lowered to the ground by the deflated balloon.
Athens Utilities was called out to fix the lines and remove the balloon.
Athens Fire said the balloon belongs to the Schwerman Christmas Tree Plantation in Laceys Spring. It was one of many that was set to participate in the Alabama Jubilee in Decatur.
Athens Fire Battalion Chief Toby Carter said the balloon was flying during a test flight when it hit the lines.