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Rediff.com  » News » US rules out terrorism in Austin plane crash

US rules out terrorism in Austin plane crash

Last updated on: February 19, 2010 00:30 IST

A small plane crashed into a seven-storey building in Texas on Thursday that houses government offices, including the Internal Revenue Services' criminal investigation unit, but the US ruled out any terrorist involvement in the incident.

The Cirrus SR22 aircraft took off from Georgetown at 9.40 am and struck the building at Research Boulevard in northwest Austin minutes later, federal officials said.

Black smoke was coming out from the second and third storeys of the building as fire crews using ladder trucks and hoses battled the fire.

Austin Assistant Fire Chief Harry Evans said it appeared the plane struck the second floor of the building that also houses private firms.

Federal officials said two F-16 fighter jets were launched as a precaution after the crash.

"We do not yet know the cause of the plane crash. At this time, we have no reason to believe there is a nexus to criminal or terrorist activity," the department of homeland security said in a press statement.

"We are in the process of coordinating with state officials and other federal partners to gather more information," said the department of homeland security.

According to local Houston Chronicle said a person close to the investigation said the home of the suspected pilot, whose name was not released, burned down.
The Rediff News Bureau