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

(Reuters) – An airline employee took off in an airplane at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport on Friday in an unauthorized flight before crashing in the south Puget Sound, the airport said on social media.

No passengers were onboard and normal operations have resumed at the airfield, the airport said on Twitter.

There was no indication that the incident was an act of terror, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor told KIRO7 news station in Seattle.

Pastor said the pilot appeared to have acted alone and was likely killed in the crash.

Alaska Airlines said that it was aware of an unauthorized take-off of a Q400 airplane operated by a sister carrier Horizon Air.

“More information as we learn more,” it said on Twitter.

Two military F-15s pursued the plane but were not involved in the crash, KIRO7 reported.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Neil Fullick

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