Yesterday in Lockhart, Texas, a hot air balloon crashed into overhead high-voltage
power lines, causing it to go down, resulting in the death of all passengers
onboard. It is believed that there were a total of 16 people in the hot
air balloon’s basket.
The initial reports state that the crash occurred at about 7:40 a.m. on
Saturday with a witness hearing two explosions. The hot air balloon caught
fire before crashing in a large pasture.
The Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board,
and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating to determine the
cause of the crash and what went wrong. Two years ago, the NTSB made recommendations
to the FAA regarding the operation of hot air balloons and increased safety
oversight. The FAA rejected the recommendations at the time.
The site where the hot air balloon crashed was just below the overhead
power lines that stand 4-5 stories tall, just 30 miles south of Austin.
Officials familiar with the investigation say that the hot air balloon
was operated by a company called Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides.
Names of those on board were not released.