WATCH: Blimp catches fire and crashes at US Open
The pilot jumped out of the blimp before impact07:53 Friday 16 June 2017, 7:53 16 Jun 2017
Footage was captured of a blimp crash near the US Open course on the opening day of the tournament.
Several fans witnessed the incident as the commercial blimp went down with large plumes of smoke rising up after impact.
ESPN reports that the crash was caused by a 'catastrophic failure, while a witness told a Fox TV crew that he saw the blimp catch fire before going down.
The pilot of the craft, who was the only person on board at the time, jumped out before hitting the ground, according to police.
It's reported that he suffered non-life threatening injuries after being dragged away from the burning wreckage by crew chief Matt Schmidt.
Speaking to ESPN, Schmidt said:
"I heard him calling out for help when I got there.
"He was able to get out of the gondola and he was probably five to 10 feet away trying to crawl away. I asked him if he could move and he said he couldn't get up and walk. I pulled him as far away as I could and as fast as I could. I got 50 feet away before the first tank exploded, and then I pulled him about another 60 feet away before the second one exploded."
This clip shows the blimp making the descent:
A USGA statement about the incident reads:
"According to local authorities, a commercial blimp not affiliated with the USGA or the U.S. Open Championship broadcast crashed in an open field approximately a half mile from the Erin Hills golf course at approximately 11:15 a.m. CDT.
"First responders were quick to arrive at the scene and the pilot is currently being treated for unknown injuries. No other people were involved in the incident and local law enforcement is currently investigating. Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot at this time."
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