According to ABC News, an empty plane has crashed after it was stolen by a ground employee from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night, according to a senior federal aviation source.
North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled fighter jets to accompany the plane, which was steered away from Seattle and Tacoma by air traffic control, according to the source.
The crash happened on Ketron Island, which is southwest of Tacoma, in south Puget Sound. The small island has only a few homes.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department has a number of vessels on scene, while the U.S. Coast Guard is on scene as well.
Alaska Airlines tweeted about an incident involving an "unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400. They said there were no passengers on board.
We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400. We believe there are no passengers on board. More information as we learn more.
— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 11, 2018
The plane, a Bombardier Dash 8 - Q400, has the capability to hold about 75 passengers and is used for short travel in the West.
Many passengers awaiting takeoff tweeted that their planes were stopped on the ground during the incident.
Sea-Tac confirmed an airline employee took off without passengers and tweeted normal operations had resumed by 9:30 p.m. local time.
An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound. Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed.
— Sea-Tac Airport (@SeaTacAirport) August 11, 2018
A video was taken of the crash, from Kathleen Treichel
— Kai Simpson (@Kai_AHS) August 11, 2018
According to the Pierce County Sheriff, they are aware of who stole the plane and said that this is was not a terrorist incident.
Follow this thread for official info. This is not a terrorist incident. Confirmed info .. this is a single suicide male. We know who he is. No others involved.
— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) August 11, 2018