Hot air balloon crash injured 9 after flying unmanned sky in the Austrian Alps

A hot air balloon crashed over the Austrian Alps on Saturday, injuring nine people.

The balloon hit the ground on the eastern edge of the mountain range, knocking out the pilot and co-pilot, and then bounced back into the sky with passengers still on board, authorities said.

According to Sonja Kellner of the Austrian Red Cross, two of the occupants were seriously injured in the accident in the Bucklige Welt region, an area named for its hilly landscape.

They were found with two other slightly injured passengers in Untereck. Five other passengers were found with minor injuries near Stang, about 5 kilometers away.

The Kurier newspaper reported that the incident occurred as the balloon was about to land on a lawn.

He said the balloon dropped too quickly and bounced off the ground, knocking four people out of the basket, including the pilot and co-pilot.

They were dragged to the ground for a few meters before the balloon took off again with the five remaining passengers.

The pilot told passengers on the phone how to make an emergency landing, which eventually stopped in a forest, Kurier said.

The two seriously injured passengers were transported by helicopter to local hospitals.