What was supposed to be an amazing display of lights in the skies over the city of Zhengzhou, capital of China’s Henan Province, almost ended up in a tragedy. Everything seems to indicate that sabotage caused hundreds of drones to collapse to the ground while spectators watched in surprise as the objects crashed over them. The bizarre event took place on October 1 at the Wanda Plaza Mall in the Zhengzhou Hi-Tech Zone, where buildings with giant LED screens abound.
About 200 multi-colored drones were synchronized as part of an opening of a shopping mall. But as if it were science fiction, a flaw in the programming caused a shower of these small devices to pour down on the city.
Although the first minutes passed as expected, the spectators began to notice that some of the small aircraft were descending slowly until they hit the ground.
Different videos published on social media show people seeking refuge to prevent the devices from falling on their heads. The drones seem to go slow, but moving propellers can surely cause significant damage.
The drone’s light show, which replaces fireworks, has taken over China in recent years. Oftentimes, many firms organize advertising campaigns with these devices. And while in China these shows do not pose a great risk, since there are several companies that offer this service, the reasons for the failure are still unknown and the organization behind the performance has not revealed too many clues.
The first hypotheses speak of a technical failure in the piloting system, but an Asian medium points out that the company organizing the event claims to have been sabotaged by another drone company.
According to a local outlet, the organization reported the incident to the police as sabotage by a competing organization as it had recently lost a tender. It is believed that it could have wirelessly interfered with drone coordination.