A Chinese man has been seriously injured in a collision with a cargo drone. The incident occurred while extinguishing a fire in a hilly neighborhood in the Chinese metropolis of Chongqing. The man, who volunteered to help with the firefighting, suffered severe cuts to his head due to the accident.
Cargo drone accident
Due to the persistent high temperatures in Chongqing, many wildfires have started in succession lately. Cargo drones are also used to support firefighting for the delivery of material.
However, while extinguishing a fire in the Beibei district, things went horribly wrong. For unknown reasons, a male volunteer was hit in the head by the propellers of a cargo drone. He suffered heavy bleeding and serious injuries as a result.
Images taken shortly after the incident show the drone lying on its side. It is not clear what preceded the incident. After the accident, another cargo drone was used to raise a stretcher, after which the victim was carried down the mountain and sent to the hospital for emergency care.
What is a cargo drone?
A cargo drone is a large-sized multirotor that can transport a few hundred kilograms of payload per flight. In China, such drones are being developed by EHang, among others. The German Volocopter has also presented a cargo drone: the VoloDrone. In the Netherlands, Machinefabriek Boessenkool developed a ‘flying tractor'. Such devices can carry up to hundreds of kilograms of payload over distances ranging from a few kilometers to several tens of kilometers. The goal is to make helicopter flights obsolete.
Such drones can not simply be used in the EU. For flying drones of this size near people, the operator will have to meet strict safety requirements according to the provisions of the Certified category for drone flights with a very high risk. These Legal requirements in this category are still under development. In China, however, the rules are a lot less strict, and such drones can already be used, for example, for firefighting.
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