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Drone crashes into Navy ship injuring 2 in California

An American drone has malfunctioned and crashed into a guided missile cruiser off the coast of Southern California, causing two injuries, say officials. The incident happened while the vessel was testing a combat weapons system.

Lt. Lenaya Rotklein of the US Third Fleet told AP the two sailors  injured in the crash were being treated for minor burns. The  remotely-controlled craft reportedly veered out of control during  an operation to test the USS Chancellorsville’s combat weapons  system on Saturday afternoon. Rotklein said the drone was being  used to test the ship’s radar.

The guided missile carrier is now heading back to the San Diego  Naval Base, where officials will assess the extent of the damage.  In response to the accident, the Navy says it is opening an  investigation to examine the possible causes.

This is the second drone crash to occur this week in the US after  an unmanned craft libertygen1malfunctioned and came down over Lake Ontario on Tuesday, prompting  the suspension of all drone flights in the Central New York area.

The military was unable to say why the $4 million Reaper drone  lost control and crashed, but reported there was no damage to  civilian property or injuries.

Anti-drones activists have slammed the US government’s use of the  unmanned craft on American soil, citing the increasing number of  accidents.

“One of the notorious things about drones and Reapers is their  high accident rate,” Ed Kinane a Syracuse-based peace  activist told on Tuesday. “A general concern is  that because the military is so in love with drones and the  Reaper, it appears they have rushed these things into  production.”

Bloomberg calculated in a 2012 survey that on average there were  9.31 accidents for every 100,000 hours of drone flight.

Nevertheless the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has  resolved to push ahead with a plan to expand the use of drones in  American airspace by 2015.




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