An Air Q400 plane was stolen from Seattle’s international airport and took off without permission, causing authorities to ground all flights.
The local Pierce County Sheriff’s office said in a tweet that a suicidal man- believed to be an employee of Horizon Airlines – acted alone when he made the unauthorized flight and was chased by F15 fighter jets.
The chase ended with the 76-seater aircraft crashing into the sea near Seattle, in the state of Washington.
A number of videos posted on social media show the plane flying over the area in an erratic way.
The Sheriff’s office said it was “not a terrorist incident”, adding the man was local and 29. The plane carried no passengers.
“This is not a terrorist incident. Confirmed info .. this is a single suicide male. We know who he is. No others involved,” it said on Twitter.
The Seattle Times reported that air traffic control tried to encourage the man to land. In the audio recording, the man can be heard expressing concerns about how much fuel he had on board.