The Associated Press reports:
An airline worker stole an empty Alaska Airlines plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington on Friday night, and the National Guard scrambled two fighter jets to chase the aircraft, which crashed on a sparsely populated island in Puget Sound, officials said.
No passengers were aboard the 76-seat Horizon Air Q400 turboprop plane, which was stolen by a 29-year-old Horizon Air ground service agent from Pierce County, according to airline and law enforcement officials. Horizon Air is a subsidiary company that operates Alaska Airlines aircraft.
The Seattle Times reports:
The Sheriff’s Department said it was “not a terrorist incident.” The plane crashed either while the man was doing stunts or because of a lack of flying skills, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
“A joyride gone terribly wrong,” Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor said during a news conference in Steilacoom, which is about 3 miles from the island. No injuries were reported on the ground, Pastor said, as the plane crashed and started an intense fire on the wooded, 230-acre island, which has a population of 20. He said it appeared the man who took the plane died.
Horizon Air COO Constance von Muehlen said in a late-night video that “our hearts are with the family of the individual onboard as well as all our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees.”
A message from Horizon Air Chief Operating Officer Constance von Muehlen: https://t.co/BDhk9pf1Yt
— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 11, 2018
Some dude stole a plane from #Seatac (Allegedly), did a loop-the-loop, ALMOST crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed. Weird times. pic.twitter.com/Ra4LcIhwfU
— bmbdgty (@drbmbdgty) August 11, 2018