16 killed in Texas hot air balloon crash

16 killed in Texas hot air balloon crash

16 killed in Texas hot air balloon crash
Sixteen people were killed today when a large hot air balloon caught fire and crashed in central Texas.

All 16 people aboard a hot air balloon died when it caught fire and crashed in a field in central Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The accident occurred shortly when the balloon crashed into a field near Lockhart, Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.

Debris at the crash site is directly below high-voltage power lines. Hot air balloon crashes in the US are rare, and fatalities even rarer.

Between 1964 and 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board investigated 760 hot air balloon accidents in the US, of which 67 were fatal.

Hot air balloons, which use propane gas to heat the air that rises into the balloon and lifts it, are regulated like any other aircraft.

Hot air balloon pilots must be certified and the balloons must have an air worthiness certificate. The FAA inspects the balloons used for commercial ventures after 100 hours of flight time or at least once a year, the FAA said in a statement.