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Officials: Texas pilot left anti-IRS note

Published: Thu, February 18, 2010 @ 2:43 p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A pilot furious with the Internal Revenue Service today crashed his small plane into an office building that houses federal tax employees in Austin, Texas, setting off a raging fire that sent workers fleeing as thick plumes of black smoke poured into the air.

A U.S. law official identified the pilot as Joseph Stack and said investigators were looking at an anti-government message on the Web linked to him. The Web site outlines problems with the IRS and says violence "is the only answer."

Federal law enforcement officials have said they were investigating whether the pilot crashed on purpose in an effort to blow up IRS offices. The Web site featured a long note dated today denouncing the government and the IRS in particular and cited the Austin man's problems with the agency.

All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

At least one person who worked in the building was unaccounted for and two people were hospitalized, said Austin Fire Department Division Chief Dawn Clopton.

She did not have any information about the pilot. About 190 IRS employees work in the building, and IRS spokesman Richard C. Sanford the agency is trying to account for all employees.

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