Hot Air Balloon Crash In Texas that Killed 16 Raises Safety Questions
Hot air ballooning trips are popular but when things go wrong they can quickly turn deadly.
I was horrified and saddened to read about the deaths of at least 16 people in a ballooning accident in Texas.
The crash in Central Texas is the worst ballooning accident in U.S. history and is likely to lead to a review of the laws governing ballooning. My thoughts are with those who have lost a loved one.
The National Transportation Board investigators are still trying to figure out exactly how many people were on the balloon when it crashed on Saturday and what caused the tragedy.
A team of investigators is arriving near the town of Lockhart. The balloon appears to have come down on power lines, caught fire and plummeted to the ground. There were no survivors.
Even the death toll is uncertain because balloon operators don’t usually file a manifest.
A report in USA Today noted how the crash calls into question the existing regulations for hot air balloons.
It noted that from 1964 to 2013, the NTSB has looked into 760 hot air balloon accidents in the USA, 67 of them fatal. Accidents are usually caused by highs winds, bad weather and balloons crashing into power lines.
The balloon is Texas took off from a field that was ringed with power lines. A report in the Daily Mail suggested the balloon may have been overloaded and eyewitnesses noted it struggling to get off the ground.
The number of balloon accidents is a cause for concern. In 2014, three people died in a balloon crash near Richmond in Virginia.
The worst hot air balloon incident worldwide was caused by a fire, which triggered an explosion in a hot air balloon with 21 people on board over Luxor, Egypt, in 2013. Nineteen people were killed.
As a Virginia wrongful death lawyer, I’m concerned that balloons are flown so close to power lines. The industry also seems to be lacking regulations. It would make more sense operators to be forced to draw up manifests that detail who is on board a balloon. There is clearly a need for stronger regulations in the ballooning industry.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, call our wrongful death lawyers today at (757) 455-0077.