Washington, Aug 11: An Alaska Airlines plane that was stolen by an airline employee crashed into an island in Puget Sound on Saturday. Officials at Sea-Tac International Airport have confirmed the crash to news agency Associated Press.
Pierce Co. Sheriff's Dept. says the airline employee who stole the plane from Seattle airport was "a single suicide male," there were no passengers on the plane and "this is not a terrorist incident."
Stolen horizon airplane crashed into Ketron island. Preliminary info is that a mechanic from unknown airlines stole plane. Was doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills caused crash into Island— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) August 11, 2018
According to US Today reports, the pilot was a suicidal 29-year-old male and a resident of Pierce County and the incident has no connection to terrorism.
Alaska Airlines reported 'unauthorized take-off' at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington. F-15s planes were scrambled to intercept the Alaskan Airlines flight, reported Fox News.
We've confirmed a Horizon Air Q400 that had an unauthorized takeoff from SeaTac around 8pm has gone down near Ketron Island in Pierce County, WA. We're working to confirm who was on board, we believe there were no guests or crew on board other than the person operating the plane.— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 11, 2018
The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. Flames lit up the night as they spread from the burning wreckage to nearby trees. Officials said there were no victims on the ground. The stolen plane was a twin engine turboprop Q400 airplane belonging to its sister carrier Horizon Air, Alaska Airlines said on Twitter.
It normally carries 76 passengers. "This is not a terrorist incident," Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff's office wrote on Twitter.