The hot air baloon came down near power lines
The hot air baloon came down near power lines

A hot air balloon has caught fire and crashed in the US state of Texas, probably killing everyone on board, the local sheriff says.
Aviation officials say it was carrying at least 16 people and came down near Lockhart, about 30 miles (50km) south of the state capital Austin.

Caldwell County sheriff Daniel Law said there did not appear to be survivors.

Videos posted by local media suggest the balloon came down near tall power lines, but the cause is not yet known.

The balloon crashed in a field at about 07:40 (12:40 GMT), officials said. The sheriff's statement said that when emergency crews arrived, the basket of the balloon was on fire.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation. Erik Grosof, an NTSB official at the scene, said only that there had been "a number of fatalities".

He said the balloon was believed to have belonged to the Heart of Texas Balloon Rides, an Austin-based company that offers trips to see the sunrise with champagne.

A Fox News reporter from Lockhart who is at the scene says contact was lost with the balloon about half an hour into a scheduled one-hour flight.

Governor Greg Abbott asked in a statement that "all of Texas to join us in praying for those lost".