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5 found, 2 missing after balloon crash in Peru

By CNN Staff
updated 12:12 AM EDT, Mon April 29, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The hot air balloon fell into the Pacific Ocean south of Lima
  • Its pilot and another man, a passenger, are unaccounted for
  • Workers are scouring the area with the help of helicopters, fishing boats and jet skis

(CNN) -- Five people were rescued Sunday, but two more remain missing, after their hot air balloon crashed off the coast of Peru.

The balloon's red and white wreckage was found in the Pacific Ocean south of the capital, Lima, the state-run Andina news agency reported. Citing the country's interior minister, it said that those rescued -- all women -- were taken to a naval hospital.

Their conditions were not immediately known.

The balloon's pilot and another man, a passenger, are still missing.

"Hopefully we can find them as soon as possible," Andina reported Minister Wilfredo Pedraza as saying. "All we know is that one of them tried to swim to the coast. The search will continue, even at night, until they are rescued."

Workers are scouring the area with the help of helicopters, fishing boats and jet skis.

Pedraza stressed the immediate priority is on finding the missing men but that there will be an investigation into what went wrong.

The balloon was not equipped with GPS, nor did it have life jackets, the minister said, Andina reported.

The crash recalled a somewhat similar hot air balloon accident in Egypt in February. Early investigations into that crash showed gas canisters exploded, causing the balloon to plummet and resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

How safe is hot air ballooning?

NFL player injured in balloon crash

CNN's Dana Ford contributed to this report.

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