Fiery Blimp Crash Shocks Witnesses Near US Open

Witness says pilot parachuted to safety
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2017 1:10 PM CDT
A blimp crashes during the first round of the US Open golf tournament Thursday near Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – "It started deflating, and then it started going down," witness Bryan Rosine tells the Journal Sentinel. "Then there was a bunch of kabooms and smoke clouds." One person is reportedly injured after an advertising blimp crashed Thursday near the US Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. A witness says the blimp caught fire as it fell. Another says the pilot appeared to parachute from the blimp. One person was transported from the scene for medical attention; the person is presumed to be the pilot.

The USGA says the blimp was not affiliated with the US Open, the Washington Post reports. The blimp, which bore an advertisement for PenFed Credit Union, is operated by AirSign, which tweeted a photo of it prior to the crash with the message "Share your blimp sighting pics!" Multiple witnesses tweeted videos of the crashing blimp. According to the AP, AirSign says the pilot was the only person on board the blimp. A sales manager for AirSign says he's "not 100%" on the pilot's condition but believes he's alive. (Read more blimp stories.)

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