SEATTLE: A stolen airplane belonging to the Alaska Airlines crashed near Seattle’s Sea-Tac International Airport late on Friday.
Sea-Tac International Airport authorities said the plane Horizon Air Q400 was stolen by an airline employee and crashed after an ‘unauthorised’ take-off late on Friday.
The airplane crashed in south Puget Sound, Sea-Tac International said on Twitter, adding that normal operations have resumed at the airport.
Alaska Airlines had earlier tweeted that there was an “unauthorized take-off” of a Horizon Air Q400.
No passengers were on board, it said.
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. We’re working to confirm who was on board, we believe there were no guests or crew on board other than the person operating the plane.
According to the eyewitnesses, F-15 military jets were rushed to intercept the stolen plane soon after its unauthorised take-off from the airport.
Two military F-15s chased the plane but were not involved in the crash, according to the Pierce County (Washington) Sheriff’s department.
The plane crashed into Ketron Island, it said.
The plane “was doing stunts in the air or probably the lack of flying skills caused crash into Island,” the department tweeted.
Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the US West.
The Q400 is a 76-seater turboprop aircraft.