Austin plane crash: Basic details
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.
• A private security contract guard employed by the Federal Protective Service is assigned to the Echelon building during normal business hours, officials said.
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| February 18, 2010; 3:32 PM ET
Categories: Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues
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