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Gatwick passengers' fury as cops can't shoot down drone amid fears of stray bullets
Flyers have been left stranded for more than 32 hours as an elite force of Army specialists, police snipers and MoD spooks hunt the drones in a humiliating game of cat-and-mouse.
Despite the search entering its third day, Sussex Police are still vague about whether rifles will be used to blast the drones out of the sky.
Initially officers said they could not shoot the remote-controlled craft down for fear of stray bullets –before appearing to U-turn by saying today they would do “whatever it takes”.
This morning they said “tactical options” were now being considered as Det Ch Supt Jason Tingley said the force would "do what we can to take that drone out of the sky".
The technique used to tackle the drones remains unclear with guns, radio waves or even eagles suggested.
But passengers and their loved ones raged online as they face another day of travel hell in one of the most serious security breaches in aviation history.
One tweeter wrote: “If the police are worried about stray bullets, are they not able to use rubber bullets as an alternative?”
Another said: “Brother can’t land in Gatwick cause for three days they can’t shoot down a drone and now we’re stuck at Stansted on a plane. But sure you’ll manage well after Brexit."
Norwegian author JH Lillevik posted: “My friend Cheri is stuck at Gatwick and can't get back to her son. Could anyone please just find that drone and shoot it down? I'll name a character in my next book after you.”
On tweeter wrote: “Don't really get why the police can't shoot down the drones with rubber bullets? #Gatwick #DroneGate”
Another said wrote: “For goodness sake Gatwick, thousands of pheasants are killed every day with shot guns.
"No issues with stray bullets and will destroy a drone instantly. What a health and safety cop out.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said “new technologies” will be used to “take action” against the drones.