REICHELSHEIM, Germany (June 13, 2011)—A Goodyear blimp operating in Europe caught fire June 12 during a flight and crashed at the Reichelsheim Airport near Hanau, Germany.
The pilot was killed but passengers aboard managed to escape by leaping from the airship, Goodyear said.
The airship was one of two leased from Lightship Europe Ltd. for advertising/promotion purposes, Goodyear said. The other ship was grounded following the accident.
German aviation and other responsible authorities are investigating the accident, which occurred during Hessentag, a regional fair. Goodyear said neither it nor Lightship are commenting on the cause of the accident.
A Goodyear spokesman in Akron released the following statement: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the crew member, and also with our colleagues and the passengers involved with the airship tour in Germany."