After a pilot named Joseph Stack crashed his plane into the …
After a pilot named Joseph Stack crashed his plane into the …
After a plane crashed into the Echelon Building in Northwest …
A plane crashed into the Echelon Building in Northwest Austin …
Read the pilot's manifesto here.
Updated: Friday, 19 Feb 2010, 4:46 PM CST
Published : Thursday, 18 Feb 2010, 2:36 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - After a plane crashed into the Echelon Building in Northwest Austin, leaders came out quickly in reaction to the tragedy.
Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin: "It appears that today, Austin suffered a grievous attack at the hands of a disturbed man. I strongly commend, and deeply thank, the firefighters, paramedics, police officers and others who responded so quickly and effectively to this despicable act. We are all grateful that for every person in our midst who would do us harm, there are thousands of honorable, well-trained Central Texans standing ready to protect us. And we are praying for those who suffered, and who will continue to suffer, because of this act. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are working together and sparing no resource investigating this attack. We thank them deeply for their diligence and hard work. We all have questions about how this could have happened here. There will be ample time – very soon – to make sure those questions are answered."
Congressman Lloyd Doggett released a statement on the plane crash: "Heartfelt interest in those who are suffering, thankful not more were harmed, appreciative of our first responders, and concerned that this is where fanaticism can lead. Like the larger-scale tragedy in Oklahoma City, this was a cowardly act of domestic terrorism. Stack’s apparent website message reflects the steadily increasing flow of 'the government is out to get me' paranoia. That so many have already contributed to a Facebook page as ‘fans’ of this terrorist attack on public servants is a truly appalling expression of extremism, which Americans will overwhelmingly reject."
Congressman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, ranking member of the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee said "It's like the Ft. Hood shooting...I think when you fly an airplane into a federal building. It depends how you define terrorism, but it sounds like it to me. We have to be very careful how we balance. I think it's an issue Congress needs to look at not only protecting federal buildings bu the American people."
"I'm very proud of the way police, fire and EMS [responded]," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "It's very admirable. Today we suffered a tragic event in Austin. Our public safety first responders reacted quickly and efficiently and contained the fire as well as the incident. From the site of the crash it was apparent to me that the event could have resulted greater numbers of injured people. And, while we are lucky that the injury count is low, the thoughts and prayers of our community go out to the families involved. This incident is now fully contained. This is apparently an isolated incident and Austinites should feel safe to go about their daily lives."
"Two people went to Brackenridge, one was later transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio," said James Holly with Austin/Travis County EMS.
"The No. 1 fear is that it's an act of terrorism, [but] there is no cause for concern," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. "Terrorism task force, FAA and ATSB [were] out there. This is an isolated incident. There is no cause for alarm. We don't want to jeopardize integrity to the investigation. No cause to panic. People should go about thier lives as normal."
"There was a fairly significant fire," said Austin Fire Department Division Chief Dawn Clopton said at 12:30 p.m.. "The fire is contained and there [were] a few spot fires. They have searched the first three floors. Engineers are on scene to make sure of safety. Hopefully, within the next few hours, we'll have this fire extinguished."
"Our hope is that the days of flying aircraft into buildings are over," said Governor Rick Perry. "But you always have some exposure in a free society. The balance is finding how to protect the people and also protect their freedoms and liberties. Whether it's allowing the ease of access in the state capitol. I hope we don't turn our capitol into DFW airport or Bush international from the standpoint of security that Texans still, and visitors still have freedom to come and go and don't feel like they're being inappropriately hassled. But the other side of that is we have people's safety. So it is always a battle between anarchy and tyranny always has been."
Perry later released a statement saying the following:
"In true Texas form, first responders and everyday citizens responded to today’s plane crash with selfless acts of heroism, securing the area, evacuating the building and controlling the fire, and are to be commended. My office continues to communicate with local, state and federal officials on this incident, which is currently an open criminal investigation. With details still emerging, it is important to refrain from speculation and let the law enforcement experts determine what exactly unfolded."
The White House said President Barack Obama was briefed about Thursday's plane crash in Texas. Spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president was brifed by counterterrorism
adviser John Brennan shortly before leaving the White House for a trip to Colorado and Nevada. Gibbs said the Department of Homeland Security is investigating all angles of the crash and its cause.
The IRS commissioner Doug Shulman released a statement regarding the plane crash at 3:22 p.m. on Thursday:
"Like most Americans, I am shocked by the tragic events that took place in Austin this morning. This incident is of deep concern to me. We are working with law-enforcement agencies to fully investigate the events that led up to this plane crash. My thoughts and prayers go out to the dedicated employees of the IRS who work in the Austin building. We will immediately begin doing whatever we can to help them during this difficult time. While this appears to be an isolated incident, the safety of our employees is my highest priority. We will continue to do whatever is needed to ensure our employees are safe."