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(Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Photo)

MAYER, Ariz. -- 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 said 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 said the passenger basket struck the ground several times and travelled about 150 yards before coming to a rest.

Five other passengers aboard and the pilot escaped injury.

Authorities said the hot air balloon owned by a Cottonwood company had lifted off from the Black Canyon Wash near Cottonwood and intended to fly to a landing zone in Camp Verde, off Interstate 17. Mayer is along Arizona State Route 69.

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

Associated Press,

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