FORT WORTH, Texas — A small drone used by Mexican federal police was flying in its country's airspace before malfunctioning, forcing controllers to crash it across the Texas border in El Paso, a Mexican government official told The Associated Press Friday.
The unmanned aircraft was on routine patrol before it crashed Tuesday night in an El Paso yard, said the Mexican government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
No one was injured when the drone landed behind a house in a former agricultural area near the border, authorities said. The neighborhood is separated from Mexico by the Rio Grande, floodlights, the 15- to 18-foot (4 1/2 to 5 1/2-meter) tall border fence, a chain-link fence, a line of poles with surveillance cameras and a highway, the El Paso Times reported.
Border Patrol agent Ramiro Cordero said that after someone found the drone, authorities removed it so they could examine it, and later returned it to Mexican officials at one of the international bridges.
"It was small enough to carry it," Cordero told the AP on Friday.
The drone was a mini orbiter unmanned aerial vehicle made by Aeronautics Defense Systems, said Keith Holloway, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.