Blimp catches fire, crashes at US Open - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

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Blimp catches fire, crashes at US Open

The blimp crashed into an open field outside the golf course. (Source: Alex Grimm/Twitter) The blimp crashed into an open field outside the golf course. (Source: Alex Grimm/Twitter)
A blimp flying over the U.S. Open golf tournament crashed Thursday. (Source: WTMJ/CNN) A blimp flying over the U.S. Open golf tournament crashed Thursday. (Source: WTMJ/CNN)
The blimp was flying above the tournament, which is being held at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. (Source: WTMJ/CNN) The blimp was flying above the tournament, which is being held at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. (Source: WTMJ/CNN)
A blimp that was flying over the U.S. Open caught fire and crashed Thursday. The blimp did not crash near play. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) A blimp that was flying over the U.S. Open caught fire and crashed Thursday. The blimp did not crash near play. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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ERIN, WI (RNN) - A blimp that had been flying over the U.S. Open golf tournament Thursday went down, with witnesses saying it may have caught fire before crashing.

A person who posted video to Twitter says she saw someone parachuting out. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported one person, the pilot, had been airlifted from the scene and hospitalized. The hospital identified the man as Trevor Thompson. 

He had "serious burns and injuries," the Washington County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. But he was able to share details of the crash with officers, said National Transportation Safety Board officials, who are investigating the crash. 

A representative for AirSign, the company that operates the blimp, told the Associated Press that only the pilot was on board the craft, and he is "OK." No one else was hurt.

The company that owns the blimp is AirSign. They posted a picture of the PenFed Credit Union model that was flying over the course on Twitter, along with a request for people to post and share their "blimp sighting pics."

Emergency crews have responded to the site of the crash, which was in an open field outside of the course.

The charred remains of the inflatable aircraft could be seen lying on the ground. A metal frame lying on the burnt ground appeared to be the only remains of the gondola, or passenger compartment.

This is the first year the golf tournament, one of the PGA's four majors, has been held at Erin Hills. It is the 117th U.S. Open.

The four-day tournament started Thursday.

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