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Pilot 'seriously burned' as blimp goes down at US Open golf tournament

By: The Associated Press
June 15, 2017 Updated: June 15, 2017 at 12:56 pm
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A blimp crashes during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Thursday, June 15, 2017, near Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. An official with the company operating the advertising blimp at the U.S. Open said the pilot is "OK" after the craft crashed but that he was taken to a hospital. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

ERIN, Wis. — Authorities in Wisconsin say the pilot of a small advertising blimp was seriously burned when the aircraft crashed at the U.S. Open golf tournament.

The man was the only person aboard when the craft went down shortly before midday at the Erin Hills golf course in Erin, Wisconsin. The blimp went down in an open field near the course.

A statement from the Washington County Sheriff's Office says the pilot was taken to a hospital by medical helicopter.

The statement says the blimp was on fire or smoking and went down rapidly. The sheriff's office asked the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board to help investigate the cause.

The U.S. Golf Association said in a statement that the advertising blimp crashed in an open field about half a mile from the Erin Hills golf course. The USGA said the pilot was being treated for unknown injuries and that no other people were involved.

The Open, one of golf's four majors, opened play Thursday at the course in Erin, Wisconsin.

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