On Monday, a US 2nd Infantry Division helicopter lost the ISU-90 container it was airlifting over the city of Yongin, just south of Seoul, sending it crashing into houses in the city’s Chuin district.
"By all accounts, it did cause property damage, but nobody was injured," 2nd ID spokesman Lt. Col. Martyn Crighton told Stars and Stripes, a US military publication. "Unit leaders are on the ground, and a thorough investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances and cause of the accident."
Crighton said the initial suspicion was that the box, which possibly contained fuel pump equipment, fell due to an equipment malfunction, but noted there was no liquid fuel in the box and that the investigation is still ongoing.
The box, an ISU-90 aluminum cargo box, is about 9 feet tall and a little more than 7 feet long and wide. Empty, it weighs in at 1,720 pounds, according to the maker’s website, but is capable of transporting an additional 10,000 pounds. It’s unknown how much the cargo inside the dropped box weighed.
Monday’s mishap is just the latest incident in which objects have fallen from US military aircraft onto unsuspecting civilian communities. Last month, a US Marine Corps CH-53 Super Stallion lost a cabin window during a flight, Sputnik reported. The incident happened off the coast of Japan’s Okinawa Island.
“We asked the US officials to conduct thorough inspections and maintenance on the aircraft and take all the necessary measures not to let this happen again,” an Okinawa Defense Bureau spokesman told Stars and Stripes on August 30. “We are very disappointed.”
While nobody was hurt in the August episode, other incidents have caused injury on the island. In December 2017, a window from another Super Stallion helicopter fell on the schoolyard of an Okinawa elementary school while dozens of students were outside at gym class, injuring one of the students. This was just days after a plastic container fell from an unknown US military plane, landing on the roof of a daycare facility.