16 dead in balloon crash near Maxwell
Anita Miller - Managing Editor |
“Full bore” investigation is set to begin today into the hot air ballon crash that killed 16 people Saturday morning near Maxwell in Caldwell County.
Authorities said all aboard the ballon died.
Representatives of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Saturday afternoon that they would perform a “stake down” until this morning when key teams arrive to assist, including the FBI’s evidence response team based in San Antonio.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s families,” NTSB representative Eric Grosof said. “This is going to be a difficult site for us to work through.”
The balloon came down and caught fire in a pasture near Jolly Road and Cistern Road and was initially reported as a motor vehicle accident.
Caldwell Sheriff Daniel Law said first responders reported the gondola was on fire when they reached the scene.
Victim’s names had not been released as of Daily Record press time and the name of the company that owned it had not been confirmed. The NTSB says number killed in the crash equals all the hot air balloon fatalities that occurred in the U.S. from 2002 to 2012.