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Blimp crashes near U.S. Open after catching fire - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Blimp crashes near U.S. Open after catching fire

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Video shows a blimp falling out of the sky at the 2017 U.S. Open. ( photo credit: Marc Maldoff) Video shows a blimp falling out of the sky at the 2017 U.S. Open. ( photo credit: Marc Maldoff)

A blimp caught fire and crashed to the ground near the U.S. Open golf tournament, injuring the pilot and causing an explosion on the ground.

AirSign, an advertising firm, was operating the blimp. Patrick Walsh, the company's CEO, tells CBS News the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Jeff Alstadter, a spokesman for the U.S. Golf Association (USGA), said in a statement that the blimp crashed around 11:15 a.m. local time in an open field a half mile from the golf course.  

Twitter users posted clips showing the blimp falling from the sky near the golf tournament, which is being held at Erin Hills Golf Course in Hartford, Wisconsin:  

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Marc M @capbirdie

Wow, blimp down. I hope everyone is safe.  

10:18 AM - 15 Jun 2017

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madison seigworth @msiggyy

Just got to the  and the blimp caught fire and crashed. People parachuted out.

10:19 AM - 15 Jun 2017

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Walsh says the pilot was the only person on board the blimp. He suffered burns in the crash but was OK, Walsh said. There were no other injuries on the ground.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office responded to the crash, CBS affiliate WDJT-TV reports. WDJT reporter Julie Parise‏ was on the scene as a helicopter arrived to transport the pilot to a hospital:

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Julie Parise @juliecbs58

Just pulled up to the blimp crash at . Flight for life just landed to help passenger @CBS58

11:00 AM - 15 Jun 2017

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PenFed Credit Union was the blimp's sponsor for the tournament, which got underway Thursday.  

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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