US Open 2017: Blimp crashes near to course at Erin Hills

US Open blimp
The blimp - similar to the one above - crashed close to the US Open but was unaffiliated with the event

An airship fell from the sky and caught fire close to the US Open during the early stages of the first round at Erin Hills, Wisconsin.

Organisers said the aircraft was "unaffiliated" with the US Open or television coverage of the event.

Eye witnesses posted social media footage showing the advertising blimp falling to the ground and the pilot using a parachute to escape.

The pilot was injured but the airship owners said he is "expected to be OK".

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American aerial advertising firm Air Sign added there are "no details on the cause of the crash".

A US Open statement said: "According to local authorities, a commercial blimp not affiliated with the USGA or the US Open Championship broadcast crashed in an open field approximately a half mile from the Erin Hills golf course at approximately 11:15 (17:15 BST).

"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."