KILLEEN, Texas (AP) — A 6-foot-long inactive training missile accidentally fell from a military helicopter into field near Fort Hood, implanting itself in the ground and causing the brief evacuation of nearby homes but not harming anyone, officials said.
About 100 homes in a nearby neighborhood were evacuated Tuesday night after a witness reported seeing something fall from the sky about 8 p.m., Killeen police spokeswoman Carroll Smith said. Residents were allowed back into their homes within an hour of the incident, she said.
Ordnance technicians from the Army post examined the missile and determined it didn’t have a warhead or propulsion system, Fort Hood officials said. It was removed before midnight, leaving a hole in the ground several feet deep.
“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,” Col. Howard Arey, a Fort Hood aviation officer, said in a statement Wednesday.
Arey said the post is investigating and reviewing its safety procedures, but “we believe at this time that it is not a systemic issue.”