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Texas plane crash 'may be deliberate tax office attack'
02-18-2010, 09:02 PM,
Texas plane crash 'may be deliberate tax office attack'
Quote:US law enforcement officials are investigating whether a plane that hit a building in Austin, Texas, was a deliberate attack on a tax office.

The pilot of the single-engined plane that hit the seven-storey office has been named as Joseph Andrew Stack.

Most employees were evacuated but one person remains unaccounted for, a spokesman for the Austin fire department said.

The White House said the crash did not appear to be an act of terrorism.


A US website has published an apparent suicide note attacking the US tax authorities and signed by the man suspected of piloting the plane.

However, at this point it is not possible to determine the authenticity of the note or its authorship.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama had been briefed about the incident.

The Department of Homeland Security was investigating the crash, he added.

Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled from Houston, Texas, after the crash and were patrolling the area.

Heather Wills, from Austin, told the BBC that she was driving past when she saw the huge cloud of black smoke.

"As I got nearer I could see flames leaping out of the building - the flames were two storeys high. I could hear the glass windows shattering from the heat.

"My first thought was that it was a fire. The traffic was backed up all along the freeway."

A law enforcement official told US media they were checking possible links to reports of a domestic dispute in Georgetown, Texas, and allegations that the suspect in that dispute burned down his home before allegedly taking off in the plane.

Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot did not file a flight plan.

A spokesman for the Austin fire department said the plane hit the building at 0956 local time (1556 GMT).

He said two people had been taken to hospital, but it is not clear if they were seriously injured.
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