PHOENIX – Authorities say a hot air balloon carrying 13 people crashed and caught fire Wednesday morning in the desert outside Phoenix, igniting a small brush fire but causing no injuries.
It's not immediately known what caused the crash. Phoenix fire Capt. Jake Van Hook says it started "only a small amount of fire," which crews quickly extinguished.
A witness video shows flames and a large plume of black smoke in an area of dry brush as several people on a dirt path look on.
The crash occurred just before 8:30 a.m. just north of the Phoenix metro area, according to Maricopa County Sheriff's officials. The pilot was able to safely land the balloon and everyone on board got out. It was then that the fire spread from the balloon to the surrounding area, sheriff's Sgt. Calbert Gillett said in a statement.
No injuries were reported to the 13 people on board and no other information was immediately available, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
A search of a tail number in FAA online records shows the hot air balloon is registered to Hot Air Expeditions in Phoenix. A phone message left with a Hot Air Expeditions employee was not immediately returned.
A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman also did not immediately respond to an emailed request for information.