The pilot of a Goodyear blimp that bust into flames and crashed in Germany on Sunday night gave up his own life to save his passengers, officials are saying.

One of the survivors said that after accidentally slamming its engine into the ground, the pilot swooped the blimp clear of its originally designated landing area and gave the riders enough time to jump to safety. The blimp then flew away, burst into flames and plunged back to earth.

Were it not for the pilot’s heroic actions, putting his passengers’ lives before his own, there would have been more than one fatality.

ABC News has more…