The deadliest hot-air balloon crash in U.S. history occurred last weekend in Maxwell. At least three Houston-area residents were among those killed. Sixteen people were killed when a hot air balloon hit high-tension power lines before crashing into a pasture.
The hot air balloon launched around 7 a.m. on a Saturday. The balloon traveled eight miles away from Fentress Texas Airpark and hit a high power line before plummeting into a pasture. The high-capacity power lines are owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Services Corp.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, but it is believed that it was a component of the balloon that hit the wires, not the tower. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating. Previously, the FAA had rejected calls from the NTSB for further regulation of hot air balloons, citing the very low amount of balloon activity. In the past five years, hot air balloon have crashed 60 times across the country, resulting in seven deaths.
The company that operated the hot air balloon does not appear to be registered with the state of Texas. It had a low rating with the Better Business Bureau. The pilot had previously operated a hot air balloon company in Missouri, and the BBB warned customers about doing business with the company.
This tragic accident illustrates the importance of safety, especially when participating in activities that can be inherently dangerous. If you have been injured in an accident, you may have a legal course of action against the responsible parties. If you are in Houston, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707 today. They can help. Call to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case. You can also visit us on Twitter to learn more.