BRADFORD, Vt. — The pilot of a hot-air balloon that had been carrying a total of five people is dead after becoming entangled in gear underneath the basket and then falling to the ground in Bradford, Vermont State Police said.

The balloon took off from the Post Mills airport Thursday afternoon. Some time later the balloon touched down in a field and one passenger fell out, but was unhurt.

At that point, the pilot became entangled in gear affixed to the balloon as it re-ascended. He eventually fell to the ground in a field where he was pronounced dead.

After the pilot’s death, three other passengers remained in the balloon until it caught in a grove of trees about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) farther north in Piermont, New Hampshire, where they escaped without injury.

None of the passengers were hurt.

The name of the pilot was not immediately released until his family could be notified.

The incident is being investigated by officials from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration and state transportation officials from Vermont and New Hampshire.

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