More Than One Hundred Drones Malfunction and Plunge into the River during Aerial Light Show

A aerial light show went haywire ahead of a Matildas’ World Cup friendly soccer match, sending dozens of expensive drones plunging into Melbourne’s Yarra River.

More than one hundred drones malfunction and plunge into the Yarra River during aerial light show

More than one hundred drones malfunction and plunge into the Yarra River during aerial light show

More than one hundred drones malfunction and plunge into the Yarra River during aerial light show

More than one hundred drones malfunction and plunge into the Yarra River during aerial light show

The display was set to amaze the crowd at the team’s warm-up clash with France at Marvel Stadium in Docklands before the tournament gets underway on Thursday.

But the audience was left gasping for the wrong reasons when more than a hundred drones appeared to stop mid-air and plummet directly into the water.

The Victorian government had previously announced there would be 500 of the drones performing a 10 minutes display of ‘messages and images in support of our Matildas’ as a send off before their first group stage match.

There have been no reported injuries but the company responsible for the show, Australian Traffic Network, has hired professional divers to begin fishing the drones out of the river from Sunday.

It is not known exactly how many drones plunged into the river – or how much the eventual damage bill will be – but Vic Lorusso from the company said about 350 of the 500 drones were unaccounted for after the show.

More than one hundred drones malfunction and plunge into the Yarra River during aerial light show

More than one hundred drones malfunction and plunge into the Yarra River during aerial light show

More than one hundred drones malfunction and plunge into the Yarra River during aerial light show

More than one hundred drones malfunction and plunge into the Yarra River during aerial light show

It is understood a technical glitch caused the drones to lose contact with base and begin an automatic controlled descent to the ground, which happened to be over water.

The company, which has done previous successful shows for Vivid in Sydney and the State of Origin, said it would launch an investigation into malfunction.

‘The drones, to their credit, did what it was supposed to do when they got into a malfunction or technical glitch, which was to auto-land,’ Mr Lorusso told The Age.

‘Unfortunately, when you’re over water, an auto-land is in the water.

‘Obviously it’s upsetting to us, but we’ve just got to find out the reason why it happened … but that said, I’m really happy because everyone’s safe, and that’s paramount to us.’

The Matildas flew to their Brisbane camp on Saturday for their final few days of preparations before they take on Ireland in their opening match.

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