Airplane Crashes Into Office Building In Austin, Texas : The Two-Way A private plane has crashed into an office building in Austin, Texas.
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Airplane Crashes Into Office Building In Austin, Texas

A fireman is seen at the scene of a fire at a seven-story building after a small private plane crashed into a building that houses the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas. Jack Plunkett/AP Photo hide caption

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Jack Plunkett/AP Photo

A fireman is seen at the scene of a fire at a seven-story building after a small private plane crashed into a building that houses the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas.

Jack Plunkett/AP Photo

A single-engine airplane crashed into a seven-story building in Austin, Texas, which houses Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offices and nearly 200 federal employees, just south of the Georgetown Municipal Airport, in Georgetown, Texas, from which the flight originated.

The ensuing explosion set the building ablaze.

"There is a huge, gaping whole along one side of it," Mose Buchele, a reporter for KUT, NPR's member station in Austin, said. "Massive damage. Windows knocked out. It's blacked by suit and smoke."

Joseph Andrew Stack, 53, a software engineer, was piloting the aircraft.

Investigators are looking into an anti-government message on a website apparently registered to Stack. NPR correspondent Wade Goodwyn said it contains "an extensive list of grievances." The post was signed "Joe Stack (1956-2010). Earlier today, the Austin Fire Department responded to a fire at his residence. Stack's wife and daughter, distraught and screaming, reportedly ran into a neighbor's home.

The Austin American-Statesman has identified the plane as a Piper Cherokee PA-28-236 Dakota. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told the Associated Press that the pilot did not file a flight plan.

At a press briefing, the chief of the Austin Police Department, Art Acevedo, said that the incident had been contained. "It's under control," he told reporters.

Local paramedics responded quickly. They set up a triage center at the scene. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) launched two F-16s from Ellington Field, in Houston, Texas, at 10:45 a.m. ET, minutes after the plane hit the building, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman reported.

The FBI says that 13 individuals were treated for injuries. Dr. Christopher Ziebell, Chief of the Medical Staff at SETON Northwest Hospital, told CNN that one victim was stabilized at Brackenridge Hospital, then taken to the burn center at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. Another victim, treated for smoke inhalation at Brackenridge Hospital, was discharged just after 2:00 p.m. ET. Authorities are trying to find one person who remains unaccounted for. They have contacted members of that person's immediate family.

According to the police chief, "this is an isolated incident," refusing to call it "terrorism."

"There is no cause for alarm, and people should continue their lives as they would've any other day of the week," he said

POLITICO, citing pool reports, says
President Obama was briefed by John Brennan, his counterterrorism adviser, en route to Denver, where he campaigned for Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO).

Update at 6:48 p.m. ET: Law enforcement officials, including the FBI, held a press conference in Austin. The police chief continued to refrain from calling the incident "terrorism." "I consider this a criminal act by a loan individual," he told reporters. Acevedo said that the building has not been rendered safe, and Stack has not been accounted for.

Update at 5:32 p.m. ET: NPR correspondent John Burnett says that Stacker's house is "gutted." "The roof is blackened and fallen-in," he said.

Update at 5:11 p.m. ET: Burnett confirmed that the pilot died in the crash. "It could've been so much worse," Burnett told NPR's Robert Siegel on All Things Considered. He spoke with Stacker's neighbors, who described Stacker as "a mystery man." Burnett said that, according to the people he talked to, Stacker "didn't mix with his neighbors very much at all."

Update at 4:35 p.m. ET: Goodwyn reports that Stacker apparently had set his house afire earlier today.

Update at 4:03 p.m. ET: According to Buchele, authorities are trying to contact one person, still unaccounted for. They are also attempting to get in touch with his or her family members.

Update at 3:10 p.m. ET: At 10:45 a.m. ET, just after the plane hit the building, NORAD launched two F-16s from Ellington Field, in Houston, Texas, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman reports.

Update at 2:50 p.m. ET: The man reported to have piloted the airplane, Joseph Andrew Stack, was a software engineer. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said that the pilot did not file a flight plan, the Associated Press reports. Investigators are looking into an anti-government message on a website apparently registered under Stack's name.

Update at 4:35 p.m. ET: According to NPR correspondent Wade Goodwyn, Stack apparently had problems with undocumented income and the IRS, adding the Echelon 1 building contained nearly 200 federal employees.

Update at 2:35 p.m. ET: According to pool reports, John Brennan, President Obama's counterterrorism adviser has briefed the president on the incident.

Update at 2:27 p.m. ET: Dr. Christopher Ziebel, the Chief of the Medical Staff at SETON Northwest Hospital, told CNN that the two victims who were taken to Brackenridge Hospital are no longer at the facility. One of them, with severe burns, was stabilized, then taken to the burn center at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. The other patient was treated for smoke inhalation, then discharged.

Update at 2:10 p.m. ET: The Statesman reports that a burn victim has been airlifted to a burn unit in San Antonio, citing a spokeswoman for the Seton Family of Hospitals.

Update at 2:04 p.m. ET: Multiple sources report Joseph Andrew Stack was piloting the airplane involved in the crash.

Update at 1:58 p.m. ET: CNN just inverviewed Lee Leffingwell, the mayor of Austin, a former commercial airline pilot. He said that he is "still in the process of trying to confirm all the details." Leffingwell added that "there is evidence that the gas tank was just about full."

Update at 1:11 p.m. ET: The National Transportation Safety Board says it will send a team, based in Dallas, Texas, to Austin, to investigate the plane crash.

Update at 12:56 p.m. ET: NPR correspondent John Burnett is on the scene, at the site of the crash. He says that it appears that the fire there is under control.

Update at 12:35 p.m. ET: The Associated Press and the Austin American-Statesman say that the building houses many IRS offices.

Update at 12:26 p.m. ET: NBC News is reporting that the pilot of the plane that crashed into the building set fire to his own home beforehand.

Update at 12:20 p.m ET: Authorities just convened a press conference in Austin. According to Harry Evans, an assistant chief of the Austin Fire Department, the building the plane struck is on fire, crews have responded, two people have been transported to the hospital, and one person is unaccounted for. Scott Perry, a corporal with the Austin Police Department, says that there are federal offices in the building and numerous nearby streets have been closed.

Update at 12:06 p.m. ET: A spokesman for the FAA, tracking the incident from Fort Worth, Texas, says that they know it was a single-engine plane. The Agency is trying to contact air traffic controllers in the area.