The Canadian Forces is scrambling for answers after one of its military helicopters dropped an inflatable life raft that smashed a hole in the roof of a home in Miami.
The Griffon search-and-rescue helicopter was on a training exercise in Florida on Wednesday and returning to a U.S. Coast Guard air station when the uninflated raft became detached, said military spokesperson David Lavallee.
The military’s director of flight safety is now investigating how and why the raft detached from the helicopter, which is normally based at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario.
Local media are reporting that a woman was asleep in the home when the raft came smashing through the ceiling.
The Miami Herald reports that Luce Rameau was lying in bed and talking to a friend on her cellphone when she heard what she thought was a bomb.
Then she was covered in wood and dust from her roof.
“I kept screaming, ‘What happened? What happened?”’ she said. “I was shocked.”
Photos from the scene show a gaping hole in the roof of what appears to be a multi-unit residence, while the bedroom where the raft apparently fell was littered with debris.
There were conflicting reports on whether anyone was hurt by the incident.
While Lavallee said one person had sustained minor injuries, Miami-Dade Police spokesperson Det. Lee Cowart said that initial assessment had been changed and no injuries were reported.
Police were called to the scene at about 3 p.m., said Cowart, who added that the area where the incident took place is located on a common flight path between the ocean and U.S. Coast Guard station.
Cowart said police were able to make immediate contact with the Canadian air force officials, whom he described as being “really up front with us” and having sent someone to the scene.
While the Federal Aviation Administration, which is responsible for flight safety in the U.S., was aware of the incident, a spokesperson couldn’t immediately say whether it would launch its own investigation.
Source: Canadian Press