Hot-air balloon pilot dies during landing mishap in Chester Co.

KIMBERTON, Pa. -- Officials say a hot-air balloon pilot fell from the basket while trying to land in a field near Philadelphia, and could not be revived after becoming trapped under it.

Police say Jeff Hooten of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died Sunday after the accident in East Pikeland Township. No passengers were injured.

Police chief James Franciscus says the pilot was reaching to grab a rope to deflate the balloon when he fell. Hooten was dragged after becoming stuck between the basket and the ground.

The balloon was operated by the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team of Warwick. Spokesman Stan Hess says it won't be clear what happened until an autopsy is completed.

The Chester County coroner's office had no further information Monday morning.
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