Apache Drops Training Missile Near Texas Town

A US Army Apache helicopter accidentally dropped an inactive missile over central Texas, forcing dozens of homes to be evacuated.

No one was injured in the incident in which residents of the town of Killeen told police they saw an object falling from an AH-64 attack helicopter into a field on Tuesday.

"Killeen Police Department responded and located the object which was impaled into the surface of the ground. Officials immediately cordoned off the area," a statement from the army's Fort Hood base said.

According to reports about 100 homes were evacuated.

An explosive disposal team found an inert M36 missile, a dummy version of a Hellfire missile used for training, officials said.

"The M36 is an inert training device without a warhead or propulsion system and is designed to enable crews to simulate Hellfire missile engagements in the cockpit without launching from the aircraft," the Fort Hood statement said.

The dummy missile, just like a real Hellfire weapon, weighs about 45kg and is 163cm long.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.