A Spanish fighter aircraft accidently fired an air-air missile while flying on a NATO air patrol near the Russian border with Estonia on Tuesday.
A Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 equipped with AMRAAM type missiles was on its way to return to its base in the Lithuanian town of Šiauliai.
The Defence forces of Estonia have issued an alert, warning the public an unexploded missile or parts of it could be on the ground and urging them to refrain from touching it but, rather, call immediately the country’s air force.
Authorities said the last presumed location of the missile was 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the Estonian town of Tartu, some 60 kilometres (37.2 miles) from the Russian border.
AMRAAM missiles are equipped with a self-destruction mode that should activate in case a similar incident happens, according to the Estonian Defence Forces.
It hasn’t been confirmed whether the procedure was actually triggered and authorities haven’t ruled out the possibility the missile landed on the ground.
Spain's defence ministry said Tuesday it has opened an investigation into the incident which during a routine training mission.
"A Spanish Eurofighter based in Lithuania accidentally fired a missile without causing any harm," the ministry said in a statement. "The air-to-air missile has not hit any aircraft. The defence ministry has opened an investigation to clarify the exact cause of the incident," it added.