Stolen plane crashes after 'unauthorised take-off' from Seattle airport

A Horizon Q400

A Horizon Q400

Air Alaska passengers wait in the terminal following an incident where an airline employee took off in an airplane, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington, U.S., August 10, 2018.

An airline employee stole a plane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday and crashed on an island in Puget Sound.

Two military F-15s were scrambled to chase the stolen plane, but local officials said the jets "were not involved in the crash".

The sheriff's office also said that the F-15s arrived minutes after the plane was stolen and kept the aircraft "out of harms way and people on ground safe".

The plane crashed on Ketron Island, said the sheriff's department in Pierce County, WA.

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Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the US West. No passengers appeared to be aboard the 76-seat plane.

Another recording published by The Aviation Beat reportedly records the pilot asking controllers: "Hey, do you think if I land this successfully Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?"

There was no indication that the incident was an act of terror, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said on Twitter. He said the crash caused an intense fire and no injuries were reported on the ground.

"I feel like one of my engines is going out or something", Rick said in his last radio transmission, Ostrower reported. Preliminary info is that a mechanic from unknown airlines stole plane.

Ketron Island is a privately owned, 221-acre island with a population of 17 people, according to KIRO. It's believed the employee was the only one on board, CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports.

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A plane was stolen from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport late on Friday.

While the plane was still in the air, two F-15 Air National Guard fighter jets took off from Portland, Oregon.

The control tower gently urges him to land at a nearby military base.

The airport said that normal operations at the airport were interrupted briefly but have since resumed.

As Mr Waldron was preparing to "run and take cover", he says he looked back and "saw a bright, pinpoint area of flame".

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"Rich" said in a matter-of-fact way that he fueled the airplane "to go check out the Olympics", according to audio posted by The Seattle Times newspaper.

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