Watch: Skier Marcel Hirscher nearly killed by falling camera drone which landed inches behind him
Austrian skiing champion inches from death as camera drone falls from the sky and nearly lands on him during slalom race
Marcel Hirscher, the world champion skier, had a very near miss when a drone filming his race fell out of the sky and narrowly missed him.
The Austrian, who has won the overall World Cup title for the past four seasons, was competing in a slalom race in Madonna di Campiglio in Italy.
Footage posted online shows the large camera drone crash to the ground just two feet after Hirscher has sped by. He does not appear to have noticed it at the time and continues with the race.
"This is horrible," Hirscher, who finished second, said. "This can never happen again. This can be a serious injury."
Hirscher reclaimed the overall World Cup lead from Aksel Lund Svindal, who no longer races slalom.
In Britain, the Government is considering regulating the use of drones following a surge in the number flown just a few metres from planes during take-off and landing at major airports.
Safety experts have warned that the unmanned aircraft could bring down a passenger plane after four potentially fatal near-misses in September.
There were seven recorded near misses involving drones in the 12 months to July.
A range of measures under consideration could involve fitting the unmanned aircraft with GPS chips and a requirement that they are registered online to enable the authorities to trace owners quickly.
In Japan, Tokyo's police force has introduced an elite fleet of interceptor drones designed to chase and catch suspicious-looking drones in nets flying over sensitive locations amid concerns for the prime minister's safety.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are among technology's most contentious creations. While the opportunity they present for the retail industry, such as Amazon's delivery services, is impressive, concerns over safety, warfare and surveillance continue to block their adoption into mainstream use.