UPDATE 3:45 p.m. ET: All 16 passengers were confirmed dead on Saturday afternoon, according to KABC-TV.
Original story below:
A hot air balloon carrying at least 16 passengers caught fire and crashed in Texas on Saturday, July 30. Local police believe there are no survivors.
The balloon crashed into a pasture near Lockhart, Texas, around 7:40 a.m. local time on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
“The balloon was occupied and it does not appear at this time that there were any survivors of the crash,” Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel Law said in a statement to NBC News. “Investigators are determining the number and the identities of victims at this time.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will visit the scene to investigate, according to an FAA spokesperson.
NBC Bay Area reported that the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about a possible car accident early Saturday morning. When officials arrived at the Lockhart pasture, which is about 30 miles south of Austin, “it was apparent that the reported fire was the basket portion of a hot air balloon,” according to a statement.
The names of the passengers have not yet been released.