Onlookers, journalists and rescue personnel gather outside an oil refinery following the crash of a navy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on the premises in Karachi on July 19, 2011. - AFP Photo

KARACHI: A Pakistani navy drone crashed near an oil refinery after hitting a bird in the country's largest city of Karachi on Tuesday, the navy said.

“A Pakistan Navy UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) crashed after a bird hit it.

It fell near an oil refinery and there was no (other) damage,” Commodore Irfan Ul Haq, spokesman Pakistan Navy told AFP in Islamabad.

Fellow navy spokesman Commander Salman Ali told AFP that there were no casualties and that the drone had been on a surveillance flight when a bird accidentally flew into the aircraft and it came down in the Karachi suburbs.

Pakistan is developing its own drone technology for surveillance and reconnaissance missions because the United States, which is running a bombing campaign with drones in the country's northwest, refuses to give Pakistan the technology.

Two companies in Islamabad, Satuma and East West Infiniti, make drones for the Pakistani military. It is not known if the crashed drone belonged to either company.

It was the third aircraft crash in Karachi in eight months.

On November 28, seven Ukrainians and a Georgian were killed when their Ilyushin IL-76 cargo plane crashed seconds after taking off from Karachi for Khartoum. Four labourers on the ground were also killed.

It crashed into buildings under construction in the Dalmai neighbourhood, where the Pakistan Air Force and Navy have residential apartments and offices close to Jinnah International airport.

On November 5, a US-manufactured Beech 1900C also crashed after take off, killing all 21 people on board.

The aircraft was operated by local company JS Air and had been carrying staff from an Italian oil company to an oil field in Sindh.

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