There was drama off the course on the opening day of the US Open at Erin Hills as several fans captured footage of a blimp catching fire and crashing.
Local authorities in Wisconsin confirmed that the PenFed blimp deflated and descended into a remote field close to the course, while large black plumes of smoke were clearly visible in the surrounding areas.
The USGA announced that the blimp was not affiliated with the tournament or the host broadcasters, Fox Sports, while police on the scene believe that only the pilot was on board at the time.
The pilot was believed to have jumped clear moments before the inflatable craft hit the ground, and he was reported to have suffered non-serious injuries.
A USGA statement read: “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.”