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Texas Plane crash into FBI Office in Texas, US

Austin (US): In a suspected suicide attack, a single-engine private plane Thursday crashed into a seven-storey building complex which houses the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office in Texas, ABC News reported quoting sources.

Two people were injured and one person was unaccounted for after the crash which left the building a smoking hulk of shattered glass.

The plane hit the side of the building between its first and second floor where the office of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is located.

A spokesman for the IRS said 190 people work in that office. "We are still in the process of accounting for all of our employees".

However, federal officials said that they had no reason to suspect the incident was terrorism related.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was briefed about the incident.

"The Secretary is aware of the situation in Austin. We do not yet know the cause of the plane crash. At this time, we have no reason to believe there is a nexus to criminal or terrorist activity," Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler told ABC News.

"We are in the process of coordinating with state officials and other federal partners to gather more information. At this time, we will defer additional questions to local officials and the FAA," Chandler said.

Meanwhile, two F-16 jets have been sent from Houston as "a prudent precaution consistent with our response to recent similar air incidents".

North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) spokesperson John Cornelio said that the jets were flying a combat air patrol over Austin.

Cullen described the plane as a blue and white Piper Cherokee, a plane he used to use in flying lessons.

"I thought it was going to hit me for a second. It was flying right across the top of the trees. It went right across the building and slammed directly between the first and second floors," he was quoted as saying.

Authorities are investigating reports that the pilot may have burned down his house before steering the plane into the building which houses Internal Revenue Service.

Witnesses said the pilot, identified as Andrew Stack, appeared to be in control of the plane moments before the crash.

"It hit it and the strange thing was the engine seemed to me to running at full power. It didn't seem like the plane was in trouble. It was going full blast. It's not a very fast airplane, but this thing was really moving fast," pilot Jerry Cullen told ABC's Austin affiliate KVUE.

"The plane was just coming down. He (the pilot) was so low you could actually see him in the plane," another witness Beth Jones was quoted as saying.

Jones claimed that she had a glimpse of the pilot who seemed to be awake and not struggling while the plane was heading towards the building.

As her car passed under the plane's path she heard a "large explosion" and immediately pulled over to see the building in flames.

The plane flew "just straight, right in" to the complex. "You think, did he go in there on purpose?" Jones asked

(News published under the licence from Indo Asian News Service)

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