Photo Gallery Fatal Airship Accident in Germany

The pilot of a blimp died when the aircraft burst into flames on Sunday as he was trying to land at ain airfield in Germany, police said. Three passengers managed to jump to safety and were unhurt.
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An airship burst into flames and fell out of the sky in Germany on Sunday evening, killing the pilot, but three passengers managed to leap to safety and were unhurt. The blimp, part of an advertising campaign for the Goodyear tire company, was about to land at an airfield in Reichelsheim in western Germany when fire broke out in both engines, media reports said.

Foto: Stringer/ dpa
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Bild newspaper reported that the pilot, an Australian, called out to the passengers: "We're having a crash!" and told them to jump out of the cabin, which was hovering just 2 meters above the ground. As soon as they had left, the airship rose rapidly to a height of around 50 meters, possibly due to the sudden loss of weight in the cabin, making it impossible for the pilot to escape.

Foto: Stringer/ dpa
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The blimp became engulfed in flames and fell back to the ground in a ball of fire. The passengers were a press photographer and a TV crew who had been on a round trip to get aerial shots of a public festival.

Foto: Stringer/ dpa
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The charred remains of the blimp. Media reports said there had been a smell of petrol in the cabin for some time during the trip.

Foto: dapd
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Emergency services next to the remains of the airship. Police said the cause of the accident wasn't known yet and that air crash experts have launched an investigation.

Foto: Robert Nolte/ dpa
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The blimp on Sunday shortly before the fatal crash.

Foto: Hans-Christiaan Hoek/ dpa
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