The Courier-Mail

Bomb scare fear from drone crash

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ITAL­IAN ten­nis star Flavia Pen­netta feared the worst when a drone crashed at the US Open dur­ing her night match at Flush­ing Mead­ows.

The drone crashed in an empty sec­tion of Louis Armstrong Sta­dium late in Pen­netta’s 6-1, 6-4 sec­on­dround win over Mon­ica Niculescu of Ro­ma­nia.

“I feared the drone was a bomb,’’ Pen­netta told www.ten­nis­worlditali­a.com.

“With all the news out there, I thought it was over. My team was so scared.”

The drone broke into pieces and the match was briefly in­ter­rupted while po­lice and fire depart­ment per­son­nel went to look at it.

“The chair um­pire just wanted to wait for an OK from the po­lice to be able to con­tinue,’’ Pen­netta said.

“Truth­fully, I don’t think even they knew what it was.’’

US Open or­gan­is­ers said the in­ci­dent was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “No spec­ta­tors were in the im­me­di­ate area of the crash and there were no in­juries,” a spokesman said.

There was a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent at Wim­ble­don in July as play­ers warmed up for the Grand Slam in Lon­don.

Po­lice were alerted to a man fly­ing a drone over the All Eng­land Club from a nearby golf course in con­tra­ven­tion of Bri­tish law, which says it is an of­fence to fly a drone within 50m of a struc­ture.

Drones have be­come a se­cu­rity con­cern at ma­jor sport­ing events since Oc­to­ber, when a Euro 2016 qual­i­fier be­tween Ser­bia and Al­ba­nia ended with the match aban­doned af­ter a drone car­ry­ing a po­lit­i­cal ban­ner was flown into the sta­dium, and play­ers and fans clashed.

 ??  ?? UN­WEL­COME VISI­TOR: Part of the fallen drone.
UN­WEL­COME VISI­TOR: Part of the fallen drone.

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