Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Airline Worker Steals Aircraft, Crashes Near Seattle

Airline Worker Steals Aircraft, Crashes Near Seattle

SeaTac Airport confirmed an employee had carried out an "unauthorized take off" in a tweet: "An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound".

All flights were grounded at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night, and passengers were told that someone had stolen a plane. "Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed", Seattle-Tacoma International Airport tweeted.

Alaska Airlines confirmed a Horizon Airlines Q400 Turboprop made an unauthorised take-off from the airport. We believe there are no passengers on board.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office believes the man acted alone and the incident was not related to terrorism.

Horizon Air is owned by Seattle-based Alaska Airlines.

A video uploaded to social media showed an aircraft matching a Q400's profile flying above a rural area, followed by a fighter jet.

The plane was allegedly "flying around Puget Sound", before later reports indicated there was a "large smoke plume" at Ketron Island.

The man later said that he was sorry.

Excerpts from the audio reveal the air traffic controller urged the man to land the plane.

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After taking off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the hijacked plane crashed on Ketron Island. "It's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this.Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess".

The two F 15 chased the plane, however, did not shoot down the Q400. "Hopefully it is just a stolen plane with one pilot and no passengers".

Local media described the man who stole the plane as a mechanic.

Authorities reportedly tried to intercept the plane with an F-15 aircraft.

Royal King of Mukilteo was photographing a wedding at Lake Steilacoom when he saw the low-flying plane and two fighter jets trailing it.

He said in a statement on Twitter: "This is not a terrorist incident".

Black smoke was spotted pouring from the crash site. "We heard the jet because our windows were down while we were waiting in the ferry line to go to Anderson Island which is adjacent to Ketron Island".

This story is still developing....

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