Hot air balloon carrying 16 people catches fire, crashes in Texas

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LOCKHART, Texas– A hot air balloon with 16 people aboard crashed Saturday morning in central Texas after catching fire in flight, FAA public information officer Lynn Lunsford said.

The incident happened in Lockhart, about 30 miles south of Austin, at around 7:40 a.m.

The FAA did not immediately have any information about casualties. But the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement to CNN affiliate TWC News Austin saying there were no survivors.

If 16 people died in the crash, the number of fatalities would be unprecedented. The current highest number of fatalities in a single hot air balloon crash in the United States is six, in 1993 in Colorado, according to the NTSB.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today issued the following statement: “Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences for all those who have been affected by today’s heartbreaking tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the Lockhart community. The investigation into the cause of this tragic accident will continue, and I ask all of Texas to join us in praying for those lost.”