Mechanic steals plane from SeaTac Airport, crashes

A Horizon Q400

A Horizon Q400

"I felt like we were on the ground and we were safe, we weren't in the sky while something was going on", he said after getting off the plane.

"We've confirmed a Horizon Air Q400 that had an unauthorized takeoff from SeaTac around 8pm has gone down near Ketron Island in Pierce County, WA".

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office reported the situation was not a terrorist incident. Then he added, "T$3 his is a single suicide male".

The hijacker has been described as a 29-year-old mechanic who worked for an "unknown airline".

And there was no indication that the incident was an act of terror, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor told KIRO7 news station in Seattle.

A plane has crashed near an island in Washington state after being stolen by a USA airline employee.

Video showed the Horizon Air Q400 doing large loops and other risky maneuvers as the sun set.

The sheriff's office also said that the F-15s, which were scrambled out of Portland, in the nearby state of OR, arrived minutes after the plane was stolen and kept the aircraft "out of harms way and people on ground safe". The station aired footage of a fire at the crash site taken by its helicopter. The identity and condition of the pilot are not known.

"No ground structures were involved at the crash site", it said.

Normal operations resumed at Seattle-Tacoma airport by about 9:30 p.m. local time, airport officials said.

The Bombardier Q400 turboprop airplane is designed for shorter-distance flights and can seat 76 passengers, Alaska Air said on its website.

A Q400 Turboprop, like that stolen from Sea-Tac International Airport.

"I was walking past Chambers Bay and I saw the jets coming down to the trees very close ..." a witness told KIRO 7. "The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low".

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