Wild news was reported out of Seattle, Washington on Friday, August 10. An unprecedented incident took place at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when an employee stole an unoccupied passenger plane.
According to CNN, the employee was a 29-year-old ground service agent. He stole a 76-seat Horizon Air turboprop plane around 8:00 p.m. PST. According to the airline, there was also an unauthorized Horizon Air employee at the controls at the time.
Thankfully, there were no other passengers on board the plane when the employee stole it. The employee ended up flying the plane for around an hour with military jets chasing him down the entire time. The local sheriff department said that the man had been "suicidal," but gave no other information about that.
Eventually, the employee crashed the plane into a wooded area around 40 miles away. Sadly, CNN claims that the employee died in the crash, though little information has been given at this time regarding the crash or the death.
The FBI reported that they did not consider this to be an act of terrorism, but it does raise questions about security measures at the airport.
CNN analyst David Soucie said, “There is a protocol to not allow anyone singularly to get onboard an aircraft. If you’re going to access the aircraft…you make sure you check with someone else, and that some else [will confirm] that…you have the right authority to get onto that aircraft.”
At one point during the chase, the man reportedly can be heard talking to the traffic controllers apologizing for what he had done. He said he was a “broken guy” with a “few screws loose.”
He said, “I’ve got a lot of people that care about me, and it’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it until now.”
When asked if a pilot needed to get on the phone to help the employee guide the plane, his response was, “Nah, I mean, I don’t need that much help. I’ve played some video games before.”
The plane did not hit any ground structures in the crash. However, the man sadly reportedly passed away.
Constance von Muehlen, the airline’s COO said, “Our hearts are with the families of the individual aboard as well as all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees.”
Please be praying for this entire situation! In other recent news, an HGTV star just revealed he's ready to settle down and have 3-4 kids!