Fatalities reported after hot air balloon crash near Lockhart

"I'd say it got as high up as those lower electric lines".

Bradley said it's unlikely that the balloon could have caught on fire by itself; rather, he guessed that power lines struck the balloon basket and perhaps ignited fuel.

Margaret Wylie, an area resident, told reporters she believed that before it crashed the balloon hit high power lines, which caused popping sounds like a gun going off.

The spokesman said the balloon likely belonged to a tour group that offers hot air balloon rides. "And then she ran inside and called 911". Police responded to reports of a fire and possible vehicular accident and discovered that the fire was from the basket portion of the hot air balloon and noted that it does not appear that there were any survivors in the horrific accident.

Federal investigators are investigating the scene of a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart, Texas on Saturday, July 30, 2016. The FBI's office in San Antonio will assist in collecting evidence in the investigation, Grosof said.

He also said the federal agency has deemed it a major accident and a full-bore investigation will begin Sunday when more federal officials arrive.

The accident happened around 7:40 a.m., Saturday.

The FAA is investigating, Lunsford said.

The Caldwell County sheriff's office said it was working to determine the identities of those aboard.

Austin media is reporting fatalities with the crash.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has confirmed 16 people are dead after a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart early Saturday morning.

The land near the crash site is mostly farmland, with corn crops and grazing cattle.

Cutting through that farmland is a row of massive, high-capacity transmission lines, and the site of the crash appears to be right below the overhead lines.

Authorities are investigating the crash, and have not yet provided further details.

Gov. Greg Abbott called the crash a "heartbreaking tragedy".

- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas issued this statement: "Heidi and I lift up in prayer all who have been impacted by today's tragic accident in Lockhart and send our condolences to all who have lost their loved ones".

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