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16 Dead After Hot Air Balloon Hits High Voltage Power Lines


Tragedy struck Saturday morning in Texas, where officials say 16 passengers died in a hot air balloon crash.

The crash occurred before 8 a.m. near Lockhart, where Federal Aviation Administration officials said the hot air balloon went down in a pasture.

Authorities said the balloon likely struck high voltage power lines that cut through the pasture.

911 callers first believed a vehicle had crashed.

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However, when first responders arrived at the scene, they found the basket portion of a hot air balloon on fire, according to the AP.

Initial reports were unclear as to the number of victims. Around midday Eastern time, the National Transportation and Safety Board confirmed 16 were dead to KXAN.

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Saturday's tragedy is unusual in ballooning. In the decade between 2002-2012, NTSB data shows the 16 is the total number of people died in hot air balloon accidents in the U.S.

The FAA and NTSB were both headed to the scene, when names of the deceased had not yet been released.

Lockhart is about a 30 mile dive south from Austin.

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