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There is evidence that component of the hot air balloon that crashed in a pasture near Lockhart, Texas, struck electrical lines before the fiery tragedy that killed all 16 persons on board -- but it is nonetheless unclear irrespective of whether the fire...

Hot Air Balloon Hit Power Lines, but Lead to of Crash Unclear

There is evidence that component of the hot air balloon that crashed in a pasture near Lockhart, Texas, struck electrical lines before the fiery tragedy that killed all 16 persons on board -- but it is nonetheless unclear irrespective of whether the fire...

Hot Air Balloon Hit Power Lines, but Lead to of Crash Unclear

There is evidence that component of the hot air balloon that crashed in a pasture near Lockhart, Texas, struck electrical lines before the fiery tragedy that killed all 16 persons on board -- but it is nonetheless unclear irrespective of whether the fire occurred prior to or right after the balloon hit these power lines, federal investigators mentioned now.

The National Transportation Security Board's Robert Sumwalt said he is hoping the investigators will be capable to collect some information and facts from the cell phones identified amongst the wreckage.

The response group stated the devices have been entirely destroyed, but Sumwalt is remaining hopeful that the NTSB's group of specialists will be able to uncover some details.

"The FBI proof response team was in a position to locate 14 personal electronic devices like cell-phones, one particular iPad and three cameras," he mentioned.

Sumwalt mentioned the balloon traveled eight miles just after taking off at about 7 a.m.

Witnesses to the crash Saturday morning described hearing popping sounds and then seeing a blaze of flames.

"The popping sound was the balloon connecting with the electric lines and then by the time I turned and saw the fireball go up, the basket was on the ground," witness Margaret Wylie mentioned.

"All you could inform it was a fire, a significant ball of flames and you could tell practically nothing what it was or anything," witness Don Schulle said.

Federal authorities will not publicly name the pilot, but friends identify him as 49-year-old Skip Nichols.

"He held a commercial pilot certificate with a balloon rating," Sumwalt said. "He did not have any other ratings to fly airplanes or helicopters, only balloons."

The tragedy was the deadliest hot air balloon crash in the U.S. due to the fact federal authorities began maintaining records.

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