TEXAS – A hot air balloon carrying 16 people caught fire and crashed in central Texas on Saturday, killing everyone on board and making it the worst accident in American history.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the fiery crash occurred at about 7:40 a.m. (8.40 a.m. ET) near Lockhart, a town about 30 miles (50 km) south of Austin, the capital of Texas.
The officials said that 16 people were believed to have been aboard the balloon and that there were no survivors.
Local news reports, quoting unnamed sources, identified the pilot of the balloon as Alfred Nichols, known as Skip. He was listed as an owner and the chief pilot of Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides.
Margaret Wylie, who lives near the crash site, said the balloon burst into flames after hitting the ground. “That’s not something I want to see again,” she said.
— Matt Mauro (@mattmauro12news) July 30, 2016