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Feb 18, 2010 2:11 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

NORAD launches F-16s over Austin crash

Federal officials are confirming that two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled over Austin, Texas after a small plane was intentionally crashed into an office building. The fighters came from Ellington Field in Houston.

“This response from NORAD is a prudent precaution and consistent with our response to recent similar air incidents,” said Jamie Graybeal spokesperson for NORAD.

CNN is reporting that the pilot, Joseph Andrew Stack, set fire to his home with his wife and child inside, then flew the plane into the office building. The wife and child were rescued from the home.

The latest news from the office building is that two people were injured and one person is still missing.

An IRS employee in the Austin, Texas, building hit by a low-flying private plane says the impact "felt like a bomb blew off." Peggy Walker says "The ceiling caved in and windows blew in. We got up and ran." 

Matt Farney, who saw the plane near some apartments before it crashed, said he thought the pilot was showing off, buzzing the building. Farney called the scene "surreal," saying the ball of flames was as high as the apartments.

 

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