16 Dead After Hot Air Balloon Crashes In Texas

James Vertuno / AP Photo

A hot air balloon that caught fire and crashed in Lockhart Texas, Saturday morning, killing 16 people, authorities said.The incident occurred around 7:40 a.m. local time after the hot air balloon caught fire and landed in a pasture near Lockhart about 30 miles south of Austin, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson Lynn Lunsford told BuzzFeed News in a statement.Officials found a fire on a road that appeared to be the balloon’s basket, the Associated Press reported. The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that 16 people died in the crash.

ESRI / AP Photo

The balloon crashed in a pasture where large high-capacity transmission lines cut through the area.FAA and National Transportation Safety Board officials were on their way to the site to investigate, Lunsford added.Investigators were still trying to identify the victims, he added.Officials told reporters that the crash site was being “staked down” until the full NTSB investigative team arrives later in the evening.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended his condolences to the family of the victims, posting on Twitter: “May God’s restorative strength & grace be with the families affected by the tragic hot air balloon crash.”The deadliest hot air balloon crash took place in Luxor, Egypt, on Feb. 26, 2013. That balloon also caught fire, killing 19 of 21 tourists.BuzzFeed News has reached out to the Caldwell County sheriff and the National Transportation Safety Board for more information.This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

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