'Don't touch.' Public warned not to touch debris after U.S downs China spy balloon

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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Down China balloon debris collection begins by US Military
Officials in South Carolina are warning people to contact authorities if they see debris from the China balloon shot down by US miiltary.

MYRTLE BEACH (WTVD) -- Officials in South Carolina are warning residents to contact authorities if they see debris from a Chinese spy balloon that was downed Saturday afternoon.

The North Myrtle Beach and Horry County police departments posted on Facebook advising to be aware of the debris in area waters. Police said pieces of the balloon are being collected by the U.S military and that some may have washed ashore.

Police said the debris is a part of a federal investigation and should not be touched, moved or removed.

"Members of the US Military are coordinating to collect debris from the ocean; however, it is possible fragments may make it to the coastline," Horry County Police said in their post.

Authorities are asking anyone who sees debris to call (843) 248-1520.

The United States on Saturday downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America and became the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

An operation was underway in U.S. territorial waters to recover debris from the balloon, which had been flying at about 60,000 feet and estimated to be about the size of three school buses.

President Joe Biden approved the downing of the Chinese balloon, the same US official told CNN. Another US official said that Biden approved the plan, which was presented and supported by US military leaders to carry out the mission.

ALSO SEE:A look at China's history of spying in the US

The Pentagon has confirmed the balloon was being used for surveillance, disputing China's claim that it was a civilian aircraft

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