Texas hot air balloon crash leaves no apparent survivors
LOCKHART, Texas - A hot air balloon carrying 16 people caught on fire and crashed in Central Texas, and authorities say it appears no one survived.
Erik Grosof with the National Transportation Safety Board says a full-bore investigation was to begin Sunday after more federal officials arrive.
Authorities would not confirm the exact number of deaths in Saturday's crash, but Lynn Lunsford with the Federal Aviation Administration said the balloon was carrying at least 16 people. The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that it didn't look like anyone survived.
If 16 people were killed, it would be the one of the worst such disasters, possibly the worst in U.S. history.
Saturday's crash happened in a pasture near Lockhart, which is about 30 miles south of Austin.
Margaret Wylie, who lives about a quarter-mile from the site and has an unobstructed view, told The Associated Press that she was letting her dog out Saturday morning when she heard a "pop, pop, pop."
She said, "I looked around and it was like a fireball going up."
Wylie also said the fireball was located under large power lines. As she described it, the fireball was about four stories high - almost high enough to reach the bottom of the power lines.
Wylie said that she called 911. She added that the weather seemed clear and that she often sees hot air balloons in the area.