The White House on Monday said that the US Secret Service recovered a small drone, called “quad copter”, lying on the grounds of the White House in the early hours, but refuted any kind of immediate danger from the incident.
The device, which is nearly two feet or 61 cm in diameter, was discovered flying at a low altitude at around 3:08 am EST before it finally crashed on the southeast side of White House.
“An investigation is underway to determine the origin of this commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects,” Nicole Mainor, Secret Service spokesperson, said in a statement.
She further said that as soon as the flying drone was detected inside the White House compound, there was an “immediate alert and lockdown of the complex until the device was examined and cleared.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest, who is traveling to India with US President Barack Obama, said the Secret Service is investigating the breach.
“The early indications are that it does not pose any sort of ongoing threat right now to anybody at the White House,” Earnest said in a press briefing.
“I don’t have any reason to think at this point that the first family is in any danger,” Earnest added.
The federal regulators are currently working on drafting new rules for the commercial use of flying drones amid growing privacy as well as safety concerns.
The Secret Service, which looks into the safety and security of the first family, is facing severe criticism following several untoward incidents of breach with the security at the White House. The director of Secret Service stepped down from his post in October last year. Meanwhile, an independent review team said that Secret Service needs to develop a better fence and hire more security officers.