Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

'Stolen' plane closes Seattle airport before crashing into sea

'Stolen' plane closes Seattle airport before crashing into sea

Alaska Airlines said the plane was a Horizon Air Q400, which had an "unauthorized takeoff" from Sea-Tac around 8 p.m. local time.

Flight were delayed but normal operations have since resumed at Sea-Tac Airport.

No passengers were on board the plane, the airline said.

Witnesses present at the airport reported a chase between the "stolen" plane and two F-15 fighter jets, which was scrambled following the "theft".

Sheriff's officials say a man who stole an Alaska Airlines plane from an airport in Washington state was "suicidal" and there is no connection to terrorism.

"Our hearts are with the family of the individual aboard as well as all our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees, "she said in a video message". There appear to have been no passengers on the 76-seat plane.

A Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, reported to be hijacked, flies over Fircrest, Washington, the USA, before crashing in the South Puget Sound, August 10, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media.

PCSD officials also identified the person involved as a 29-year-old male who lives in Pierce County.

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FBI Seattle announced on Twitter it would work with local authorities to investigate the accident but said evidence does "not suggest a terrorist threat".

He tells air traffic control he wants to do a barrel roll.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department has a number of vessels on scene, while the U.S. Coast Guard is on scene as well. The aircraft then crashed into Ketron Island, 40 km to the southwest of the Seattle/Tacoma Airport. "I was kind of hoping that was going to be it, you know".

The man could be heard on audio recordings telling air traffic controllers that he is "just a broken guy", news agency Press Trust of India reported, quoting foreign media.

"I felt like we were on the ground and we were safe, we weren't in the sky while something was going on", he said after getting off the plane. He added, "The responding fighter pilots flew alongside the aircraft and were ready to do whatever was needed to protect us, but in the end the man flying the stolen plane crashed". A pilot on the plane in front of us just went rogue and took off on an empty plane bypassing orders from the tower.

The Sheriff said the F15 military jets were not involved in the crash.

This is a developing story, more information to come. Check back for updates.

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