Hot Air Balloon Crashes In Texas, 16 Dead

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A hot air balloon with 16 people on board caught fire and crashed in central Texas.

The balloon came down 30 miles from Austin near the city of Lockhart on Saturday morning, with all on board feared dead.

CNN reports:

There were no survivors in the crash near Lockhart, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to CNN affiliate TWC News Austin.

Here’s the latest information on the crash:

— The National Transportation Safety Board says the FBI is working with it to help document the scene, which is now secured for evidence collection.

— An NTSB spokesman held a brief news conference near the scene Saturday afternoon, saying the accident involved a “significant loss of life,” although he would not give an exact number of dead. “There were a number of fatalities,” he said.

— “This will be a difficult site for us to work through,” the NTSB spokesman said.

— CNN’s Ed Lavandera says the area, which lies between Austin and San Antonio, is popular for weekend excursions such as ballooning or skydiving.

— FAA representative Lynn Lunsford said the crash happened around 7:40 a.m. CT near Lockhart, about 30 miles south of Austin.

— Gov. Greg Abbott expressed his condolences to the victims’ families.

— If 16 people died, that would be an unprecedented death toll for a hot air balloon crash in the United States. The highest number of deaths in a single hot air balloon crash in the country before Saturday was six, in a 1993 accident in Colorado, according to the NTSB.

— In 2013, 19 people died in a hot air balloon crash in Egypt, near the ancient city of Luxor. That was the world’s deadliest hot air balloon accident in at least 20 years.

— The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating the Texas crash.

Edmondo Burr
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