Breaking: 16 killed in hot air balloon fire

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A typical hot air balloon

A typical hot air balloon

Sixteen people have died after a large hot air balloon caught fire this morning and crashed in a pasture near Lockhart, Texas, according to Texas authorities and the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call around 7:44 a.m. local time about a possible vehicle accident. The fire apparently broke out during flight in the basket portion of the hot air balloon.

“Investigators are determining the number and the identities of victims at this time,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

PHOTO: Federal officials say a hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people caught on fire and crashed in Central Texas, July 30, 2016.AP

Federal officials say a hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people caught on fire and crashed in Central Texas, July 30, 2016.

The FAA said its investigators are on their way to the crash scene and the National Transportation Safety Board, which will be in charge of the investigation, has been notified.

“The FAA and NTSB do not release the names of pilots or passengers. Names will be released by local officials after relatives have been notified,” FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said in a statement.

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Source:: PM Newspaper