Law Official Identifies Austin Crash Pilot - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Law Official Identifies Austin Crash Pilot

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Law enforcement officials say the small plane that slammed into a building in Austin, Texas, today was piloted by a software engineer angry with the IRS -- who apparently set his home on fire before crashing his plane.

The pilot, who is presumed dead, was identified by one U.S. law official as Joseph Stack. The official says a Web site linked to him outlines problems with the IRS and says violence "is the only answer."

About 190 IRS employees work in the building, which caught fire when the plane hit it today.

At least one person who works in the building is unaccounted for and two people were taken to the hospital.

Earlier, about five miles from the crash site, Stack's home was heavily damaged by a fire that law enforcement officials suspect he set. A neighbor says a woman and her teenage daughter arrived at the house and were "very, very distraught" to find their home burning.

According to California Secretary of State records, Stack had a troubled business history, twice starting software companies in California that ultimately were suspended by the state's Franchise Tax Board.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Law official identifies crash pilot as Joseph Stack, says left angry anti-IRS Web page.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Police: Texas plane crash an isolated incident, there's 'no cause for concern' about terrorism.

 (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An IRS employee in the Austin, Texas, building hit by a low-flying private plane says the impact "felt like a bomb blew off."

Peggy Walker says "The ceiling caved in and windows blew in. We got up and ran."

Officials say at least one person is missing and two others were taken to a hospital.

Matt Farney, who saw the plane near some apartments before it crashed, said he thought the pilot was showing off, buzzing the building. Farney called the scene "surreal," saying the ball of flames was as high as the apartments.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

12:30 PM

AUSTIN (MSNBC) --  A small plane crashed Thursday into a multistory office building in Austin, causing a fire and sending black smoke billowing from the seven-story structure, officials said. At least two people were injured and a third was unaccounted for.

Federal officials said the incident did not appear to be terrorism-related but authorities were investigating whether the pilot intentionally crashed the plan, according to media reports.

Authorities were investigating whether the plane crash was related to an explosive Austin-area house fire earlier in the day.

The plane, a Cherokee 140,  hit the Echelon Building, which is next to a major highway in north Austin. Witnesses at the scene say that the single engine plane did not appear to be having any trouble, but hit the building at an angle. No smoke or any sign of trouble was visible.

Said one witness, a former pilot: "It was a really speedy dive. It (hit) between the first and second floors in Echelon I. A gigantic fireball came out about 50 feet wide, the windows blew out. It was a whoosh, a roar and a boom."

The IRS and the CIA all have offices in that office complex, witnesses say. The Internal Revenue Service has 199 employees in the building and they are currently being accounted for, IRS officials said.

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