Unmanned helicopter crash lands on Fukushima nuclear Reactor No. 2

Unmanned helicopter crash lands at nuke plant

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it lost control of an unmanned helicopter during a flight near the No. 2 reactor building, forcing the controller to make an emergency landing on a roof there.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the remote-controlled light helicopter took off from an observatory south of the Fukushima plant just past 6:30 AM on Friday. Its mission was to collect airborne radioactive substances around the No. 2 reactor building.

The utility says its engine failed about 30 minutes later, making it impossible for the aircraft to ascend.

The helicopter — 50 centimeters long and weighing 8 kilograms — was found lying on its side on the rooftop.

TEPCO says it did not see any smoke or flames coming from the helicopter when it landed, and neither the craft nor the reactor building was damaged.

It says it plans to retrieve the helicopter using a mobile crane.

HNK WORLD: Friday, June 24, 2011 19:16 +0900 (JST)

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