by Sonja Bochow | July 30, 2016 9:34 pm
In a terrifying tragedy, a day of fun and sightseeing turned into horror, leaving 16 people presumed dead after their hot air balloon apparently crashed into high voltage power lines and instantly went up in a fireball. This is the deadliest balloon accident on American soil. Read on for details and a picture of the crash site.
From the Daily Mail:
Authorities said they believe the balloon hit high-voltage power lines before it erupted into flames and plummeted to the earth in Lockhart, around 30 miles from Austin,KSAT reported.
While the victims’ names have not been released, the pilot has been identified as Skip Nichols of the company Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides.
The sheriff’s office received a 911 call at 7.44am reporting a possible vehicle accident on Jolly Road near Cistern Road off Highway 142, but police arrived to discover the hot air balloon crash.
‘The balloon was occupied and it does not appear at this time that there were any survivors of the crash,’ the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed 16 people had died, while Erik Grosof with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) acknowledged there was a ‘significant loss of life’.
The passengers were 26 minutes into an hour-long ride when it crashed, according to Marcus Officer from Fox 7, who spoke to an employee of one of the men on board.
Caldwell County Judge Ken Schawe, along with a Texas Department of Public Safety official toldCNN investigators believe the balloon hit power lines, causing it to erupt in flames.
Our prayers go out to those who have lost their loved ones in this sickening accident. Sadly, they will not be coming home.
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