"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, February 18, 2010

BREAKING: Plane Crashes into Austin Office Building

I can see the smoke from my apartment and hear the sirens of emergency vehicles responding. Not sure of all the details yet. This is what News 8 Austin is reporting:

News 8 has received calls from viewers saying they saw a small plane crash into a building in the 9400 block of Research Blvd. (said to be the Echelon Office Building). TXDoT cameras in the area show fire and smoke coming from the building. The crash ignited a two-alarm fire.

Eye witness Thad Lindsey said he saw a 30-foot fireball and a cloud of smoke. “Then it started raining debris. All of the windows were blown out. I couldn’t see any more,” he said. Initially, it was reported the Austin Resident Agency Office of the FBI was housed in the building. However, the FBI's offices are adjacent to the building.

I can't imagine this being an intentional act. However, it's going to wreak a huge amount of damage and create traffic chaos at one of Austin's busiest highway intersections (Mo-Pac and 183). Avoid the area if you can.

UPDATE: It was intentional. So much for my imagination. The apparent target? The Internal Revenue Service. This is an account of the plane's movement from an eyewitness in the building:
“It wasn’t heading into the direction of the building but all of a sudden it took a right and headed straight into it,” said William Winnie. “It didn’t look like it was in distress. It wasn’t wavering at all."
The pilot is reportedly 53-year-old software engineer Joseph Stack, killed in the collision. Apparently, he wrote a manifesto and had a domestic dispute with his wife last night, allegedly setting his house on fire before heading to the Georgetown airport, north of Austin, where he put his deadly plan into action by taking off in a leased Piper Cherokee at 9:40 am. 

The scene from the highway where the incident took place looks demoralizing, the guts of the building spilling out into the parking lot. It reminds one of Oklahoma City more than 9/11, not just because the alleged perpetrator is homegrown, but because the suburban building is longer and wider than it is tall, and thus still standing.

UPDATE 2: I haven't focused on the injuries yet, which were minor except for a handful of cases. Those cases are described as severe burns and are being treated at Brooks Medical Center in San Antonio. However, there is still one person unaccounted for, and Austin churches have been staying in correspondence and sending out prayer requests for this gentleman. May his family and all the families affected by this tragedy stay in our prayers.

No comments:

Post a Comment