A SeaTac Airport employee managed to steal an Alaska Airlines plane from its hanger, taking off without permission and before crashing it on a nearby island.
Sheriff's officials say a man who stole an Alaska Airlines plane from an airport in Washington state was "suicidal" and there is no connection to terrorism.
Audio has been released from the Horizon Air worker who took off from Sea-Tac Airport and crashed on Ketron Island in south Puget Sound.
There were no passengers aboard.More news: This year's last solar eclipse in Asia and northern Europe on Saturday
The aircraft "crashed in south Puget Sound", Sea-Tac Airport said, adding that normal operations at the transport hub had resumed after a pause.
F-16 jets were reportedly dispatched in pursuit of the aircraft. "Male is confirmed a suicidal male".
Alaska Air said the F-15s were scrambled from a Portland air base.
Reached by phone at 9:30 p.m., Horizon Air CEO Gary Beck said it was too early to say anything and that the airline was still gathering information. "No others involved", the Pierce County Sheriff said. "Hopefully it is just a stolen plane with one pilot and no passengers".More news: Sports Direct buys House of Fraser out of administration
Sea-Tac officials said the airline employee had "conducted an unauthorised takeoff without passengers".
Leah Morse, who watched the plane flying over her house tailed by the jets, said: "I was outside watering and heard the jets, saw the plane coming, and something told me to get my phone and record". Later, he said he's "got a lot of people that care about me".
The plane crashed into Ketron Island, it said.
"It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie", King said. "The Bombardier Q400 features 76 comfortable seats and boarding doors in both the front and rear of the plane for faster passenger loading and deplaning". Horizon is owned by Alaska Air Group, Inc., which also owns Alaska Airlines.More news: Shaw gets first career goal as Manchester United beat Leicester