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Austin plane crash: Basic details

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 5:14 p.m. ET
A low-flying small plane crashed into an office building that houses the Internal Revenue Service in Austin on Thursday, in what appears to be an isolated incident committed by a lone individual.

"Like most Americans, I am shocked by the tragic events that took place in Austin this morning," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement. "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."

These types of situations always dredge up the complexities of federal security and federal building issues, so as The Eye has done before, here's what we know this situation:

• The White House has not ruled out calling this a case of domestic terrorism. "I am going to wait, though, for all the situation to play out through investigation before we determine what to label it," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters traveling with President Obama to Colorado.

• About 190 IRS employees are assigned to work in the work in the Echelon 1 Building, which has a mix of private- and public-sector tenants.

• IRS employees assigned to the building include revenue agents, revenue officers, estate and gift tax attorneys, and tax compliance officers, according to the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS workers nationwide. Some IRS offices are on the first floor, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Some employees were in a training session on the third floor of the building when the plane struck.

• Austin is home to a large IRS tax processing center, but tax processing operations were not impacted by this incident, the agency said.

• The space leased by the General Services Administration, which has three leases in the immediate vicinity. GSA also owns and operates seven facilities in Austin.

• A private security contract guard employed by the Federal Protective Service is assigned to the Echelon building during normal business hours, officials said.


Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 18, 2010; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Unfortunately, his manifesto makes more sense and speaks more truth than the vast majority of editorials--and articles.

And just how would the FBI's reported request that his ISP remove the posting contribute to security? That's a good point for the Post to investigate while we still live in a free society.

Posted by: support6 | February 18, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Does Commissioner Shulman truly appreciate how stressful and sometimes dangerous work is for IRS Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers? Why doesn't the Treasury's Inspector General do a better job of protecting the employees? I'll bet this man's tax record did not indicate that he was a potentially dangerous taxpayer, even though he had a volatile history with the IRS for decades.

Mr. Stack isn't the first person dealing with the IRS who has committed suicide. He's not the first person to attempt killing an IRS agent or collection officer. He's just the first person to do so with an airplane. Agents and Collection Officers are attacked. The IRS just doesn't air this dirty laundry.

The IRS needs to revise how it deals with unstable, potentially dangerous taxpayers. As it stands now, the Revenue Agents and Revenue Officers have to cope as best as they can. Inspection agents are supposed to be available to protect them, but the truth is they aren't available. Perhaps Commissioner Shulman will change this situation.

Posted by: AnnsThought | February 18, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

It is absolutely sickening to see some on the internet applaud this guys actions

They are basically encouraging terrorism by stating what he did was brave....flying a plane into a building trying to kill people

Don't like the IRS? Fine...killing people to fight back?

Yes, that is terrorism

Posted by: Bious | February 18, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Not terrorism, but treason. Get your ts straight. Terrorism was ruled out from the start.

Posted by: member5 | February 19, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

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