16 killed in Texas hot-air bal­loon crash

The Myanmar Times - - World -

SIX­TEEN peo­ple were killed when a hot-air bal­loon crashed in a fiery blaze on a ru­ral field in cen­tral Texas, one of the dead­li­est such ac­ci­dents in his­tory.

The bal­loon burst into flames and plum­meted to earth soon af­ter dawn out­side Lock­hart, some 50 kilo­me­tres (31 miles) from Austin, Lynn Lunsford of the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FAA) said in a state­ment on July 30.

“When the Emer­gency Re­spon­ders and the Sher­iff’s Of­fice ar­rived on the scene, it was ap­par­ent that the re­ported fire was the basket por­tion of a hot-air bal­loon,” the Cald­well County Sher­iff’s Of­fice said.

The Texas Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety con­firmed that the 16 peo­ple on board had died, ac­cord­ing to the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man and other US me­dia.

Re­porters at the scene and passersby were kept back from the ac­tual crash site.

Local res­i­dents spec­u­lated that the bal­loon had struck a power line that runs promi­nently across the field.

“I didn’t see the bal­loon hit. I just heard the pop­ping. And I heard the pop­ping, and then the next thing I knew is the fire­ball went up,” said Mar­garet Wylie, a 66-year-old who wit­nessed the crash. –

Photo: AFP

Au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gate the site of the hot-air bal­loon ac­ci­dent in Maxwell, Texas, on July 30.

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