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Small airplane crashes into US building; terror attack not suspected

world Updated: Feb 19, 2010 00:51 IST

AP
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A low-flying small plane crashed into a seven-story building that houses an office of the federal tax agency today, and at least one person was missing, witnesses and officials said.

Assistant Austin Fire Chief Harry Evans said two people have also been taken to a hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.

A law enforcement official said the crash did not initially appear to be the result of a crime or terrorism. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss the crash.

Thick black and gray smoke was billowing out of the second and third stories of the building today as fire crews using ladder trucks and hoses battled the fire. Dozens of windows were blown out of the hulking black building, which houses offices of the Internal Revenue Service. Vehicles traveling on a nearby highway paused to look.

Peggy Walker, an IRS revenue officer who works in the building said she was sitting at her desk when the plane crashed.

"It felt like a bomb blew off. The ceiling caved in and windows blew in. We got up and ran," she said.

Matt Farney, 39, who was in the parking lot of a nearby Home Depot, said he saw a low-flying private plane near some apartments and the office building just before it crashed.