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'Suicidal' mechanic steals plane from Seattle airport

AP  |  Seatac(US) 

A "suicidal" stole an empty plane and took off from in state before crashing near a small island, officials said.

Preliminary information suggests that the 29-year-old stole the Horizon Air Q400 and the crash occurred because the person was "doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills," the said.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft before it crashed near Ketron Island, southwest of Tacoma,

There were no passengers aboard.

Ed Troyer, a for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, said on that the man was suicidal and there was no connection to terrorism.

The sheriff's department said they were working to conduct a background investigation on the man, whose name was not immediately released.

The man could be heard on audio recordings telling air traffic controllers that he is "just a broken guy."

The was sending a 45-foot (14-metre) vessel to the crash scene after witnesses reported seeing a large plume of smoke in the air, said.

Horizon Air is part of and flies shorter routes throughout the

The Q400 ix a turboprop aircraft with 76 seats.

Spokesmen for the Transportation Security Administration, the and the Federal Administration directed inquiries to local authorities.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 11 2018. 11:25 IST