Local Hot Air Balloon Business Owner Reacts to Texas Accident that Killed 16

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A hot air balloon trip is supposed to be exciting and fun. What happened Saturday in a pasture in Lockhart, Texas however was anything but. At least 16 people died when a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed, according to federal officials.

Tim Nelson, owner of Sky Drifters Hot Air Ballooning, said the tight knit ballooning industry is shaken over the loss. But although that the accident is devastating, he said it's also rare.

"I've only known of two ways ever a balloon catches on fire. One is a total failure of the fuel system, the other is a powerline strike or a hard ground strike," Nelson told FOX40.

While the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board investigate what caused the crash, Nelson continues to focus on how to keep his passengers safe by checking winds, the area and his equipment.

"We have very rigid limits on conditions that we'll fly in. Every balloon company goes out and figured out what their hazards are and how to avoid them," he said.

While Nelson admits there are some risks, he encourages people to give it a try.