Stolen Plane Flies From Seattle, Crashes After Jets Scramble To Intercept

SeaTac Airport

SeaTac Airport

The crash sparked a fire in the dense forest. Officials said there were no victims on the ground.

Officials at Sea-Tac International Airport say an Alaska Airlines plane that was stolen by an airline employee and has crashed in Washington state.

Alaska Airlines said it was aware of an "incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400", adding that it believed there were no passengers aboard the plane. It normally carries 76 passengers.

"A joyride gone terribly wrong", Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said during a news conference in Steilacoom. "Male is confirmed a suicidal male".

In several tweets, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee thanked the fighter pilots who were "ready to do whatever was needed to protect us".

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement, thanking Air National Guard from Washington and OR for their quick response, and saying, "There are still a lot of unknowns surrounding tonight's tragic incident of a stolen Horizon Airline plane from Sea-Tac Airport".

Pierce County Sheriff's Office says that a 29-year-old suicidal man acted alone and crashed the aircraft.

Horizon Air chief operating officer Constance von Muehlen issued a video statement describing the incident.

A mechanic stole a propeller airplane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday before crashing it, authorities said.

Alaska Airlines on Twitter said the airplane was a Q400 airplane belonging to Horizon Air.

According to unconfirmed reports, all flights at Sea-Tac were halted after the plane was taken.

Royal King told The Seattle Times he was photographing a wedding when he saw the low-flying turboprop being chased by two F-15s.

His first thought was that they were practicing for an air show. "I just heard it; it looked like a bomb". John Waldron was walking along a trail near the bay when he noticed the two military jets following a plane that appeared to be doing acrobatics. I think I might mess something up there too. "Kept the video rolling". A pilot on the plane in front of us just went rogue and took off on an empty plane bypassing orders from the tower. "I couldn't believe he recovered".

A pilot can be heard advising Rich on cockpit instruments and asking him how much fuel he had on board.

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