Employee takes off in empty airplane from Seattle's airport, crashes

An incident at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport led to a temporary grounding of all flights on Friday night

As per the latest update, officials at Sea-Tac International Airport say an Alaska Airlines plane that was stolen by an airline employee and has crashed.

The sheriff's office's public information officer Ed Troyer confirmed the incident was not being treated as a terror attack.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department said the stolen airplane crashed into Ketron Island.

A plane that reportedly took off without permission has sparked a major security incident at Seattle-Tacoma global airport.

Authorities in Seattle, Washington, are responding to an incident involving an aircraft that took off without permission on Friday night. The plane had an unauthorized takeoff from Sea-Tac Airport at around 8:00 p.m., and then crashed.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office reported the pilot was "doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills caused crash" on Ketron Island at the south end of Puget Sound.

Scott Adams, a battalion chief with West Pierce Fire and Rescue, said about 10:30 p.m. the crash had started a grass fire, and that two fire engines, a medic unit and a command unit were at the site, along with firefighting staff from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Fighter pilots from the Air National Guard of Washington and OR flew alongside the plane, according to an emailed statement from Gov. Jay Inslee.

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The Alaska Air Group, which owns Horizon confirmed the "unauthorised take-off" of the Q400, saying no passengers were on board at the time.

Dozens of aircraft were lined up on taxiways after landing when the airport instituted a "ground stop", according to flight tracking websites.

An air traffic controller called the man "Rich", and tried to convince the man to land the airplane. "Ah damn it, I don't know, man". Separate audio, being shared on social media, seems to suggest the man thought he could land the aircraft by himself because he had played "some video games".

A plume of smoke has been seen near Ketron Island, Washington, the US Coastguard reported.

Jenkins described the island as remote, dark and sparsely populated. We'll move quickly to correct the record and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time.

"I got a lot of people that care about me", he said on the recording.

It's believed there were no passengers or other crew on board.

Sea-Tac officials said the airline employee had "conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers". No passengers appeared to be aboard the 76-seat plane.

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