Residents in Killeen, Texas were treated to quite the surprise on Tuesday night when a Hellfire training missile fell off an AH-64 Apache helicopter and buried itself four feet into the ground in a residential area.
The missile came from an Apache helicopter that was flying out of Fort Hood and the issue is now be investigated by military officials.
The Hellfire missile fell from the sky at approximately 8:15 p.m. and was spotted by a soldiers child who ran inside to tell her dad what she had witnessed.
In order to secure the missile and ensure the safety of local residents nearly 100 homes were evacuated but residents were allowed to return home at 9 p.m after Ford Hod’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Teas was dispatched to the area and determined that the M36 was indeed a training device which did not contained a warhead or propulsion system.
According to Col. Howard Arey, III Corps aviation officer:
“Safety is always our number one concern, and we regret the inconvenience to the families affected in the area. We want to reassure the public that our military aircraft never fly off the installation with live munitions.”
“An investigation is underway, even as we review our safety and other procedures to ensure we understand why this happened and how to prevent it from happening in the future. We won’t know the cause until the investigation is complete, but we believe at this time that it is not a systemic issue.”
Hellfire stands for “Helicopter launched fire-and-forget weapon.”