KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

Witnesses Report Plane Crashes Into Austin Building

By: KBTX News Email
By: KBTX News Email

For more information on the plane Click Here

To read Stack's diary entry Click Here

Update: Emergency crews have found a second body in the wreckage where a small plane smashed into an Austin, Texas, office building.

Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief Palmer Buck said late Thursday that authorities "have now accounted for everybody," but declined to discuss the identities of those found.

Authorities said earlier that the pilot who crashed into the building was presumed dead and that one worker in the building had
been missing.

Unconfirmed reports are now saying that a note was found in Stack's car at Georgetown Airport indicating that there is a bomb at the airport. The airport was on lock down while police searched for the alleged bomb, but it has since re-opened.

The pilot of the small Piper Cherokee PA-28 single-engine plane has been confirmed dead. After a fight with his wife Thursday morning, local police responded to a domestic disturbance at his house. This is believed to be the start of the sequence leading up to the plane being crashed into the building.

The man investigators believe crashed a plane into an Austin building Thursday morning has been identified as 53 year old software engineer Joseph Andrew Stack. It is believed shortly before crashing a plane into an Austin building where several IRS offices were housed, he wrote a diary entry detailing his tax problems.

CNN is reporting that Stack intentionally crashed a small, single-engine airplane into an Austin building Thursday morning. Initial reports suggested he had stolen the plane, however that no longer appears to be the case. The FAA said the plane departed from Georgetown Municipal Airport, north of Austin, about 9:40 AM. Stack did not file a flight plan.

Flights in and out of Austin are expected to continue as normal, but airport directors recommend passengers call their airline before heading in or out of Austin.

The small, private, single-engine airplane was intentionally flown full-speed into an Austin building. Stack was reported to have crashed into the building after setting fire to his own house.

NORAD spokesperson John Cornelio stated two F-16 fighter jets were launched as a precaution after the crash, though the act does not appear to be terrorist related.

The FBI is investigating whether the IRS offices located in the building were the target and are investigating this as a "willful act." The IRS says 190 employees were in the building and the agency is attempting to account for its workers. FBI spokesperson Eric Vasas confirmed that a small FBI field office was also located in the complex, but not in the building that was hit.

Several witnesses have seen a plane crash into a building near Highway 183 and Loop 360 in Austin.

The plane crashed into the Echelon building at the 9400 block of Research Boulevard around 10 a.m. Witnesses report feeling a tremble, seeing smoke, and seeing the plane hitting the side of the building.

Authorities are investigating the crash into a seven-story office building in north west Austin, near the Arboretum.

Governor Rick Perry issued this statement on the plane crash Thursday afternoon: "In true Texas form, first responders and everyday citizens responded to today’s plane crash with selfless acts of heroism, securing the area, evacuating the building and controlling the fire, and are to be commended. My office continues to communicate with local, state and federal officials on this incident, which is currently an open criminal investigation. With details still emerging, it is important to refrain from speculation and let the law enforcement experts determine what exactly unfolded.”

Black smoke was coming from the building Thursday morning. The
building is located on a major highway in the city.

"There's heavy destruction on the second floor," Austin Assistant Fire Chief Harry Evans said, adding there was "lots of smoke, lots of heat, lots of fire."

Concerning deaths, Evans said, "We have none reported at this point."

He said two people were taken to a hospital, the building was evacuated and one person was unaccounted for.

For details on the pilot Click Here


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