Attack on IRS building injures two, kills pilot
Authorities say man had aired complaints about the U.S. tax code online.
A man who had written online about his grievances against the U.S. tax code crashed a small plane into a federal office building in Austin, Texas, on Thursday morning.
"Initial news reports are that this incident was not accidental," said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents Internal Revenue Service workers in the Austin building. "I know that people across the country share my deep concern for these federal employees and the trauma they have experienced today."
Law enforcement officials said the pilot, who they identified as James Stack, a software engineer, died in the crash, which injured two other people. One employee was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and minor injuries, while another was flown to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio for treatment of serious burns. One other person had not yet been accounted for. NTEU says 190 IRS employees work in the building, which burned to the ground after the crash.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a routine news conference that President Obama had been briefed about the crash. A National Transportation Safety Board inspector has been dispatched to the crash site, and the FBI is taking over criminal investigation of the incident from local law enforcement authorities.
In an online posting the Austin-American Statesman said was written by Stack, he complained about reforms to the tax code that he said unfairly disadvantaged engineers who worked, and about the IRS, which he said was unresponsive to his concerns and those of other engineers.
"As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone," Stack wrote. "Nothing changes unless there is a body count."
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