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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Plane Crashes Into Austin Office Building

Fox News reports that investigators are investigating whether it was intentional:

Officials are investigating whether a small plane that crashed into an office building in Austin, Texas, Thursday morning was an intentional act, an NTSB official told Fox News.

An NTSB spokesman, however, told that "we can't confirm any of that."

Authorities said they have identified the pilot as Joseph Andrew Stack, a 53-year-old software engineer who lived in Texas.

The small single-engine plane crashed into a seven-story office building in Austin around 10 a.m. local time Thursday.

The FAA said a Piper Cherokee took off from an airport in Georgetown, Texas, at 9:40 a.m. and crashed into the building in Austin shortly thereafter. Officials are investigating whether Stack, 53, owned the plane or stole it. points to a CNN report claiming the pilot that flew the plane into the building had set his home on fire before intentionally crashing the plane into the Austin building.

CNN is quoting federal officials as saying the pilot had set his home ablaze before intentionally crashing plane into the building.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the crash was “apparently a criminal act” and that in such a case the FBI would be the lead investigating agency rather than the National Transportation Safety Administration.

From CNN:

(CNN) -- The latest news as it comes in to CNN from the scene of the crash of a small plane in Austin, Texas. (All times are ET, one hour ahead of local Austin time.)

1:19 p.m.: FAA officials tell CNN the plane was a Piper Cherokee PA-28.

1:18 p.m.: A federal law enforcement official tells CNN that they believe the plane belonged to Joseph Andrew Stack.

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.

Via Memeorandum

[Update] More on the pilot here at NRO.