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Goodyear blimp catches fire and crashes in Germany, pilot dies

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Goodyear blimp caught fire and crashed near Friedberg, Germany on Sunday, killing the pilot, the tire maker said.

The airship was one of two that the Akron, Ohio-based company charters from a company called Lightship Europe Limited (LEL) for marketing work in Europe.

It was coming in to land at Reichelsheim Airfield after taking three auto industry journalists for a ride, the company said. The three passengers escaped without injury, it said.

Goodyear said the other blimp it charters from LEL for European marketing has been withdrawn from service until further notice.

Goodyear did not release the name of the pilot or any information about the cause of the fire. German aviation authorities are investigating the incident.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher. Editing by Peter Bohan)

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