UPDATE: Highway 98 to Remain Closed

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UPDATE: 4:38 p.m.

U.S. Highway 98 from Tyndall Air Force Base to Mexico Beach is expected to remain closed until mid-day Thursday as a result of the unmanned Air Force QF-4 full scale aerial target drone that crashed today.

“This closure is being done strictly as a precautionary measure due to fires resulting from the crash and a small self-destruct charge carried on board the target,” said Col. William Grund, 325th Mission Support Group commander. “We understand that the closure of Highway 98 is a huge inconvenience to our local community, but we ask for everyone’s patience and understanding as we work to secure the area and maintain safety.”

The status of this device is unknown; however it is powered by a short-life battery which will be fully depleted in 24 hours, at which time the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team can go out and secure the site. The charge is used to destroy the target if it leaves its pre-approved flight plan.

Motorist traveling from Panama City to Mexico Beach should use Hwy. 22 east to Hwy. 71 south, and from Mexico Beach to Panama City Hwy. 71 north to Hwy. 22 west.
An un-manned drone crashed during take-off at Tyndall Air Force Base this morning.

No one was injured during the accident which happened just before 8:30 a.m.

Highway 98 has been closed as a precaution while crews clean up. The road could be closed for up to 24-hours.

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