Thursday, February 18, 2010

UPDATE: Austin Plane Crash Intentional; IRS Employees Okay

From CNN News:

hour ahead of local Austin time.)

12:49 p.m.: The Internal Revenue Service in Dallas, Texas, told CNN that the building is a federal IRS outsourced building. It said 199 of its employees work there. The IRS said it thinks all employees are accounted for, but they are checking.

12:42 p.m.: The pilot of the plane had set his house on fire beforehand, stole the plane and crashed it intentionally, a federal official told CNN.

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12:40 p.m.: Federal officials said two F-16 fighter jets were launched as a precaution after the crash, though terrorist intent was not indicated.

The FAA reported that the plane that crashed was a Cirrus SR 22 similar to this one.
The FAA reported that the plane that crashed was a Cirrus SR 22 similar to this one.

12:32 p.m.: Preliminary information indicates that the plane was a Cirrus SR 22, the FAA said. A Cirrus SR22 is a single-engine four-seat aircraft.

12:32 p.m.: The FAA said the plane departed Georgetown Municipal Airport, north of Austin, about 9:40 a.m., and that the pilot did not file a flight plan.

12:18 p.m.: Witnesses described an infernal scene that shook nearby buildings and sent fire and smoke bellowing into the sky. "I just saw smoke and flames," said CNN iReporter Mike Ernest. "I could not believe what I was seeing. It was just smoke and flames everywhere."

was just smoke and flames everywhere."

Video: Building hit by plane in flames
Video: Smoke pours from building
Video: Plane crashes into building

12:11 p.m.: Harry Evans of the Austin Fire Department said firefighters found "heavy fire destruction in and around the second floor ... lots of heat, lots of smoke, lots of fire."

12:05 p.m.: Two people were transported from the crash site to University Medical Center Brackenridge, said hospital spokeswoman Matilda Sanchez. She could not provide additional information. University Medical Center Brackenridge is the only Level 1 trauma center for adults in Austin.

12:03 p.m.: Cynthia Reed, who works in the building next to the one hit, told CNN she saw people who apparently were trapped. "They were hanging out the windows, screaming for help," she said.

12:02 p.m.: "At this time we have no reason to believe there is a nexus to criminal or terrorist activity," said Matt Chandler, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security. "We are in the process of coordinating with state officials and other federal partners to gather more information and at this time we will defer additional questions to local officials and the FAA."

11:44 a.m.: Firefighters used two ladder trucks and other equipment to hose down the blaze at the building, which police said was located in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard. Traffic on Southbound U.S. 183, which is adjacent to the crash site, started to snarl as black smoke poured out of the seven-story building.

11:36 a.m.: A small airplane crashed into a building in Austin, Texas, Thursday morning, according to Lynn Lundsford of the Federal Aviation Administration.

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