At Least 16 Dead After Hot Air Balloon Crashes in Texas (Updated)

Image: AP
Image: AP

At least 16 people are dead after a hot air balloon caught on fire and crashed into a pasture in Texas, according to the Associated Press.

The crash happened in the town of Lockhart, around 30 miles south of Austin in Texas. An official with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the crash happened at around 7:40 am on Saturday. There are no reports of survivors.

According to KXAN, a local NBC affiliate, witnesses initially reported a vehicle crash, but when officials arrived at the scene, they found the basket from the balloon.


The cause is unknown, but FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials are headed to the scene.

Hot air balloon crashes are rare, and injuries even more so. According to NBC News, the NTSB reported that there were only 16 reported fatalities attributed to hot air balloons from 2002 to 2012. The last time a hot air balloon crash was so fatal was in 2013, when a balloon caught fire over Luxor, Egypt and crashed into a field, killing at least 19 tourists.

This is a breaking story. We’ll continue to update.

Update 2:15 pm: The Associated Press reports that the balloon was operated by the Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides. Officials don’t have word on what could’ve caused the crash, but the balloon was found in an area that’s mostly farmland, with a row of massive high-capacity transmission lines about 4 to 5 stories tall cutting through it.


[KXAN, Associated Press]

Weekend editor and night person at Gizmodo. More space core than human.

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16 dead from a single hot air balloon accident? What was that, a Clown balloon?