, WASHINGTON, Jan 26 – A small drone crash-landed on the grounds of the White House early Monday, prompting officials to declare a security lockdown until they were able to determine that it posed no risk.
The device was spotted at around 3:08am (0808 GMT) by a uniformed Secret Service officer on the south grounds of the White House complex, the US Secret Service said in a statement.
President Barack Obama was not at the White House at the time, as he and First Lady Michelle Obama are on a three-day visit to India.
The secret service officer “heard and observed a ‘quad copter’ device, approximately two feet in diameter, flying at a very low altitude and ultimately crashing on the southeast side of the complex,” the statement said.
“There was an immediate alert and lockdown of the complex until the device was examined and cleared.” READ: White House intruder review reveals string of blunders.
The agency said an investigation has been launched “to determine the origin of this commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects.”
The Secret Service, which provides permanent protection for the US president and about 30 other senior figures, has been much in the news lately after a handful of security breaches at the White House that led to a sweeping reorganization, including the resignation last year of its director.