Sept. 30, 2016
PNM cautions Balloon Fiesta onlookers
Albuquerque: With the International Balloon Fiesta starting tomorrow, PNM reminds onlookers this important safety information: If you see a hot air balloon entangled in a power line do NOT approach¿ instead call 911 immediately.
"Our natural instincts are to jump in and assist, but the safest thing for everyone is to stay at least 200 feet away and call for help," said Aubrey Johnson, vice president New Mexico Operations for PNM. "We work closely with the Fiesta and first responders to create an incident-free event, but sometimes accidents happen. We don't want to see a mishap turn into a tragedy."
Electricity seeks the nearest path to ground and anything that touches the balloon and the ground simultaneously, whether it is a loose tether or a person trying to help, creates a much higher risk of electrocution.
PNM places line crews and the company's outage response center on a heightened state of alert prior to and during the scheduled balloon liftoffs.
PNM's line crews are trained and experienced in assisting balloonists entangled in poles and wires. Witnesses should notify 911 immediately and let PNM line crews and emergency personnel respond to all incidents.
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit PNM.com.