16 Dead in Central Texas Hot Air Balloon Crash
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
Officials have confirmed that all 16 people aboard the hot air balloon that caught on fire and crashed Saturday in Central Texas are dead, the Associated Press reported.
The crash, which occurred about 30 miles south of Austin, is apparently the worst of its kind in U.S. history and one of the deadliest in world history, according to AP.
The balloon might have collided with power lines before going down, a county judge and public safety source told CNN.
Although authorities have not publicly identified the pilot or the hot air balloon company, a man named Alan Lirette told AP that he worked for pilot Skip Nichols, who was among the dead. Two anonymous officials told the news agency that the balloon that crashed was operated by Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides.
Though hot air balloons don't have black boxes such as those on airplanes, cellphone video footage could be helpful in the investigation, National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told AP.
Investigators will find out if the balloon operator filed a passenger manifest prior to takeoff, Sumwalt told AP.
More by Amy Coyne Bredeson
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