In-Depth: Hot air balloon crash history in Texas

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16 people were killed after a hot air balloon crashed near Lockhart (Photo_ Lauren Lanmon_KXAN)_318918

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In the last 50 years, there have been 38 hot air balloon crashes in Texas. Before Saturday’s deadly crash west of Lockhart, there were six deaths from three separate incidents in the state.

The most recent deadly Texas balloon crash was in Mesquite, Texas in August 1992. The balloon hit electrical lines and the basket separated from the balloon and fell 65 feet. Two people died.

A crash in Longview in July 2015 was the most recent incident in the state. The pilot, trying to avoid power lines, crash landed, breaking his hip and ankle. No one died.

In the KXAN viewing area, there have only been five balloon crashes in the last 50 years:

  • 3 crashes in Austin in 2004, 1990, 1998.
  • 1 crash in Pflugerville in 1994
  • 1 crash in Round Rock in 1986

No one was killed in any of the above local crashes. NTSB data only goes back to 1962 and does not include minor accidents.

According to NBC News, if the report that 16 died in Saturday’s crash near Lockhart is confirmed, it would be the deadliest in U.S. history. Before Saturday, the most deaths in a single hot air balloon crash were from an incident in Colorado in 1993 where six died.

In February 2013, 19 of 21 on board a hot air balloon flight above Luxor, Egypt were killed when the craft caught fire.

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