By Alan Boyle and Todd Bishop
A distressed Horizon Air employee stole one of the airline’s planes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport tonight and roamed through the air with F-15 fighter jets in pursuit until the plane crashed on Ketron Island, southwest of Seattle, authorities said.
No passengers were aboard the Bombardier Q400 turboprop plane, and authorities did not immediately release information about the fate of the employee — but video from the scene showed burning debris strewn across the island.
Air traffic at Sea-Tac Airport was temporarily grounded due to the security threat, according to reports from Horizon Air’s parent company, Alaska Air.
In audio recordings from the air traffic control system, the man flying the plane said that he was “just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it, until now.”