16 people sadly lost their lives after a hot air balloon crashed in central Texas.
The incident happened on Saturday in the town of Lockhart, about 30 miles south of the Texas capital, Austin.
It is believed the balloon came into contact with high voltage lines, caught fire, and plunged to the ground ablaze. Fifteen people plus the pilot were on board the craft.
Hot air balloon rides are a popular leisure activity in many states across the United States, though it is highly unregulated.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made some recommendations in the past for the industry to become under stricter aeronautic scrutiny, due to the possibility of high casualty accidents. Such proposals were rebutted by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the time, however, an action which caused the NTSB to classify the FAA’s answer to be ‘open, unnaceptable.’ It is unclear whether the FAA may now reconsider its position on the matter, in the aftermath of this tragedy.
Saturday’s accident is the worst of its kind in US history.