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Balloon crash 35 miles south of Austin kills 16 passengers

Fiery crash appears to have involved high tension wires in a rural area

 

August 1, 2016

Hot air balloon crash near Austin Texas kills 16 people

A hot air balloon carrying 16 passengers crashed about 35 miles south east of Austin Texas. The fiery crash Sunday in a rural area appears to have killed all on board.

On average of 12 crashes a year in the United States involved balloons and kills about 78 people on average. About half of these crashes involve collisions with objects such as high tension wires.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident and the names of the passengers have not yet been released. Witnesses do report that the balloon was on fire at the time it crashed.

Hot air balloon crash near Austin Texas kills 16 people

The 2016 Lockhart hot air balloon crash occurred on July 30, 2016. At least 16 people were killed after the balloon they were riding in caught fire and crashed in the unincorporated community of Maxwell near Lockhart, Texas, a city located 30 miles south of the state capital Austin. It was the deadliest ever ballooning disaster in the United States, and the second-deadliest worldwide, surpassed only by a hot air balloon crash in Egypt in 2013.

At around 07:40 local time, the aircraft crashed into a field near Lockhart, Texas. All sixteen people on board were killed. It came down near power lines and the basket of the balloon was reported to be on fire when emergency services reached the scene. The emergency services were alerted at 07:44 about a "possible vehicle accident".

Upon arrival, emergency responders said that it was "apparent" that the reported fire was the basket portion of the hot air balloon. Witnesses described hearing two "pops" which was thought to be a gun going off. Reports said that the balloon lost contact about half an hour into the scheduled one hour flight.[2] It is thought that the balloon collided with the power lines.

 

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