INTENTIONAL ACT: FLEW PLANE INTO BUILDING: Rick Leventhall at FOX News is reporting that, according to the NTSB, a plane intentionally flew into the Eschelon I Building in Austin, Texas. The IRS is located in this building. The pilot set his own house on fire and then flew into the building. Continuing updates below. See video below. 12:05 Noon CDT: The pilot's name is alleged to be Joseph Andrew Stack.
A small plane hit a seven-story Austin, Texas building, known as the Eschelon Building, at about 10 AM CST this morning. At this moment, there is no information on the plane or its occupants.
There are both private and federal offices in the Eschelon Building. A source is telling FOX News that one person in the building are unaccounted for, but at 11:15 AM CDT, authorities caution that firefighters are just getting into the building. It appears that the plane struck the 2nd floor. Another report says some people on the second floor are trapped, but this is unconfirmed. 1:25 PM: authorities report that some people were hanging out of the windows from some floors.
The plane was a single-engine, Cherokee 140. Other reports that the plane was Cirrus SR22. The 7-story building is in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard, near U.S. 183 and MoPac. The nearest airport is Austin Bergstrom International Airport, about 15 miles away. The crash site is on the airport flight path.
Electricity in the area is out, including traffic lights. Some streets are closed, and some locations have been evacuated.
The plane did not take off from the Austin Bergstrom airport, and there would not have necessarily been a flight plan filed.
Two people have been transported to the hospital. It is not known if either were the pilot.
Reports that NORAD scrambled two F-16's.
Reports that there was a "whoosh, a roar and a boom."An "incredible explosion." People on the scene said to "get out your prayers now."
Said one witness, a former pilot: "It was a really speedy dive. It (hit) between the first and second floors in Echelon I. A gigantic fireballl came out about 50 feet wide, the windows blew out. It was a whoosh, a roar and a boom."From FOX - "walking-wounded" seen. Four separate fires inside the building reported.
From FOX: A pilot's house near the area was set on fire. The house was fully engulfed in flames, including the fence.
Mayor of Austin, Lee Leffingwell, a 11:45 AM CDT, confirms that two are in-hospital, one person missing and unaccounted for.
Jamie Colby on FOX says there is some unconfirmed conjecture that the plane may have been stolen. Emphasis: unconfirmed conjecture. 12:43 PM CDT: Police on the scene are saying in a news conference that the aircraft was definitely not stolen.
Jamie Colby on FOX: unconfirmed information that CIA also has offices in this building.
MSNBC: Fires burning from the second through fourth floors.
The name of the pilot has still not been released.
According to an unnamed FBI agent,
Traffic alert: Head for I-35 and avoid MoPack area.
Homeland Security update by Katherine Herridge on FOX. "No reason to believe this is terrorism."
12:15 CDT: Piper Cherokee took off from Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown Municipal Airport, according to Megyn Kelly (FOXNews). 1:20 PM - Just now confirmed that Stack took off from Georgetown Municipal Airport, about 25 miles north of the scene. Authorities are at the airport now, investigating.
12:25 PM CDT: One of the injured taken to the hospital is in extremely critical condition, and has been life-flighted to the Brook Army Burn Center.
The IRS confirms they have offices in the Eschelon One Building with 190 employees.
12:50 AM CDT: Stack's wife, or ex-wife, and 12-year-old daughter, or perhaps step-daughter, were in the house when Joseph Andrew Stack set the house on fire. A neighbor saw the fire and helped get the wife and daughter out of the house.
An online document is signed by "Joe Stack 1956-2010" and is dated 02/18/2010. It appears to be a very angry rant against the IRS, and maybe GW Bush. Read it here. Obviously, there is no way, at this time, to confirm that this Joe Stack is the same Joseph Andrew Stack involved in crashing a plane into the Eschelon One Building in Austin, TX.
1 PM CDT: Megyn Kelly said in an update that Joseph Andrew Stack is dead, and the online suicide note is his.
1:25 PM - Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) is on FOX with Megyn Kelly saying that this is an attack against the federal government.
Related and Background:
Austin Eschelon Building Crash Site - Second body Found
Joe Stack Bomb Threat at Airport? Stack Burned House Down by Detonating a Bomb?
Joseph Andrew Stack Rant Against IRS: Joe Stack Suicide Note Online
Joseph Andrew Stack is Pilot Hitting Austin Building
Austin Eschelon Building: Plane Intentionally Flown into Building in Austin
Plane Hits Austin Building in Austin, Texas