Several injured after plane crashes into Austin office buildingFebruary 19th, 2010 - 12:54 am ICT by BNO News
AUSTIN (BNO NEWS) — Two people were injured when a small plane crashed into an office building in northwest Austin on Thursday, officials said, sparking a massive fire.
The first 911 call came in at 9.57 a.m. local time. It happened at the Echelon office building in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard, which also houses some offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
It was not immediately clear how many people were on board the small Cirrus aircraft. Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said it was a small single-engine aircraft which departed Georgetown airport, but had no further details.
“At this time we have no reason to believe there is a nexus to criminal or terrorist activity,” said Department of Homeland Security Deputy Press Secretary Matt Chandler. “We are in the process of coordinating with state officials and other federal partners to gather more information and at this time we will defer additional questions to local officials and the FAA.”
Harry Evans of the Austin Fire Department told reporters that two people were transported to a local hospital, while one person was unaccounted for. TV pictures showed heavy smoke rising from the building hours after the crash.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORARD) said it launched two F-16 fighter jets from Ellington Field in Houston to conduct an air patrol in response to the crash. “This response from NORAD is a prudent precaution and consistent with our response to recent similar air incidents,” said Jamie Graybeal spokesperson for NORAD.
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