Food Delivery Drone Hits Powerlines, Knocks Out Power For Thousands
By Bill Galluccio
September 30, 2022
Thousands of people lost power in Australia after a delivery drone crashed into high-voltage powerlines. The drone, which is owned and operated by Wing, a subsidiary of Google's parent company, Alphabet, then burst into flames and fell to the ground.
"It landed on top of 11,000 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," Energex spokesman Danny Donald told The Age.
Officials had to shut off the power to around 2,000 customers while workers inspected the lines for damage. Power was restored to most customers after 45 minutes, but about 300 people had to wait over three hours for the electricity to be turned back on.
Donald told ABC that the drone was carrying food, which was still warm when crews arrived to inspect the powerlines.
Luckily, the drone did not cause any permanent damage to the powerlines. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the drone to crash into the high-voltage lines.
"This is the first time that I've seen it happen. It could have simply been an equipment malfunction. It may have been human error," Donald said.