In a shocking incident, a food delivery drone owned by Google parent company Alphabet’s subsidiary named Wing, accidentally landed on power lines in Brisbane, Australia. Instantly, it caught fire and “as a result, the network was shut down by energy firm Energex to respond to the incident,” The Verge reported. The incident left thousands without power for around 45 minutes, while 300 customers in the immediate vicinity of the power lines suffered a three-hour outage, ABC News reported.
“It landed on top of 11000 volts and whilst it didn’t take out power, there was voltage tracking across the drone and the drone caught fire and fell to the ground. So we didn’t actually have to get the drone off, as such, it actually caught fire and incinerated itself,” The Age report quoted Energex spokesman Danny Donald. Energex spokesman further mentioned that this is the first time that it has happened. He suggested that it could be due to some equipment malfunction. Surprisingly, the food was still hot inside the drone’s delivery box when the crew got there.
Energex spokesperson told ABC News that “Fifteen years ago, we asked people to be careful if they were giving their children kites for Christmas and where they were flying them. Now we’re asking parents to be very careful with where their kids fly their drones.”
However, Wing, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, operated the drone instead of young children. Wing's drones can fly independently to deliver food and beverages over brief journeys that typically last less than 10 minutes. They can fly as hovering copters or fixed-wing aircraft. The company is currently active in three nations—the US, Finland, and Australia—but it has had particular success in suburban Australia. In Brisbane, where the accident happened, Wing offered delivery to over 100,000 customers as of August last year, and as of this March, it had completed about 200,000 deliveries.
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