SEA Games: Singapore tells drone-flyers to buzz off

SINGAPORE - Flyers of unmanned aircraft were sternly warned to stay away as the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gets going in Singapore this week.

A day before the opening ceremony, organisers firmly said drones were not welcome at any venues for the duration of the Games, for safety reasons.

"In view of the safety of our athletes, officials and our fans, members of the public are advised not to operate any unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of all 28th SEA Games competition venues from now to 16 June 2015," a statement said on Thursday.

The statement listed 21 venues where drones are forbidden, including the billion-dollar Sports Hub complex where the National Stadium will host Friday's opening ceremony.

The increasingly popular drones, often mounted with video cameras, have become a common sight at sports events as organisers and enthusiasts try to capture the action.

But they have also caused accidents, as in western Australia last year when a triathlete was injured by a falling drone.

In October, a drone carrying a controversial flag caused a brawl between Serbian and Albanian players during a World Cup qualifier, forcing the game to be abandoned.