S Korea: Engineer killed in drone crash

2012-05-10 14:01

Seoul - A foreign engineer from an Austrian company was killed and two South Korean colleagues were injured on Thursday when an unmanned spy drone crashed into their control vehicle during a test flight, police said.

The trio were testing the aircraft for South Korea's military in the western port city of Incheon, police said.

"A 50-year-old foreign engineer from an Austrian company died on the spot when the S-100 drone crashed while they were controlling it remotely from inside the vehicle," a police spokesperson at Incheon said.

The crash triggered a fire and completely destroyed the 2.5-ton vehicle, she said.

The 150kg drone and the vehicle were together worth about $4.38m.

"I saw the vehicle, which looked like a large van and was parked in an empty lot, engulfed in flames after the plane circled over our building," an official in a nearby building said.

Two South Koreans were injured but six other people in and around the control vehicle escaped unhurt, the police spokesperson said, adding the cause was not yet known and government and military officials were investigating.

The nationality of the victim was unclear.

South Korea has used drones to spy on North Korea across the heavily-fortified border. Military authorities confirmed that the S-100 is an unmanned aerial vehicle used for surveillance but declined to disclose details.

  • francois.viljoen.12 - 2012-05-10 14:56

    Seems unmanned drones are not as safe to pilot as once though...

  • chris.grobbelaar1 - 2012-05-11 09:21

    I wonder how much the engineer's life was worth...When are we going to stop counting the cost of weapons,technologies and loss of profit and start counting the cost of lives. I am sickened by the greed of corporations and institutions and governments.

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