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NTSB: Balloon hit power lines before crashing in Texas field, killing 16 | Fox News


It appears a hot air balloon reached high-tension power lines prior to crashing into a pasture in Central Texas, eliminating all 16 on board, according to federal authorities who are examining the worst such catastrophe in U.S. history.

A power line was tripped at 7:42 a.m. Saturday, and the very first call to 911 came a minute later on, National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt stated throughout a press conference. The crash website was near a row of high-tension power lines, and aerial images revealed a location of scorched land below. One witness explained to The Associated Press seeing a “fireball” near the power lines.

The NTSB will take a look at all aspects that may have contributed, consisting of weather condition, however is focusing on collecting “subject to spoiling proof, the proof that disappears with the passage of time,” Sumwalt stated, keeping in mind a little of that is witness declarations that can fade with time.

“This wreckage will not be here more than another day or two,” he included.

The pilot was Skip Nichols, 49, stated Alan Lirette, who determined Nichols as his finest manager, roomie and pal. Lirette stated he assisted release the balloon, which was bring an overall of 16 individuals, none kids. The NTSB has not yet openly recognized the pilot or the travelers.

The NTSB stated the balloon was run by Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides. Nichols’ Facebook page recognizes himself as the chief pilot of that company, which does not seem signed up with the state of Texas.

The travelers fulfilled the balloon operator in the San Marcos Wal-Mart parking area at about 5:45 a.m. Saturday, and took a trip to Fentress Texas Airpark. Landing crew members informed the NTSB that they released about 20 minutes after the anticipated 6:45 a.m. time, interacted with the balloon by mobile phone and the pilot browsed with an iPad.

The balloon took a trip about 8 miles from launch to crash, and the basket was discovered about three-quarters of a mile from the balloon product itself.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/31/ntsb-balloon-hit-power-lines-before-crashing-in-texas-field-killing-16.html