Anchorage plane crash: Downtown crash kills one, building hit
An Anchorage plane crash believed to be caused by a pilot, who was not authorized to fly the small aircraft, has left one dead, and many questions. According to Alaskan officials, First Lt. Doug Demarest perished in the crash that occurred in downtown Anchorage, which severely damaged a government building.
A plane crash in downtown Anchorage, which is being investigated by the FBI, has many wondering, was it a terrorist attack? In the early hours of Tuesday morning, while most Alaskans were still asleep, a small plane carrying one person smashed through a building in downtown Anchorage.
In a statement issued by Alaskan officials and the FBI, it was revealed that at around 6 AM, First Lt. Doug Demarest, 42, of Anchorage, was killed when his aircraft clipped an office building and slammed into a government structure. The building, which houses offices of the state departments of Law and Corrections, and the district attorney’s office, were thankfully closed on Tuesday morning.
Downtown Anchorage, mainly composed of restaurants, hotels, and businesses, was more or less empty at the time of the crash and; therefore, no one else was hurt. Demarest was in a Cessna 172, which belongs to the Civil Air Patrol, a civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.
The Civil Air Patrol relies on volunteers, who help with search and rescue, disaster relief, and homeland security across America. Demarest became a volunteer in 2010 and according to several media outlets, he was not authorized to fly the plane, and a flight plan had not been filed.
FBI spokeswoman Staci Feger-Pellessier confirmed that the pilot was alone on the plane, but would not say how and why he took it. These unanswered questions have some on social media pushing the terrorist and suicide theories. Anchorage Fire Department battalion chief Alex Boyd said it took about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire. Boyd added:
“The aircraft occupant is the only fatality we know of. There were no injuries on the ground.”
National Transportation Safety Board Alaska office chief Clint Johnson confirmed that the Cessna 172 was not authorized to fly this week, further fueling the terrorist theory. Johnson stated:
“APD [the Anchorage Police Department] made contact with Civil Air Patrol management,” Mr Johnson said. “There were no sanctioned flights scheduled at this time.”
Thomas Connell, who witnessed the crash, explained:
“I seen the plane coming in and it did a total complete turn and then boom. It flew over us twice and then crashed. It was just way low, and then it started sinking on in.”
Alaska Governor Bill Walker, who visited the site of the accident, has yet to comment on the matter.
Do you think it was pure coincidence that the plane crashed into a government building?