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1 dead after small plane crashes into office building in Alaska

A single-engine airplane slammed into an office building in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, and burst into flames on Tuesday, killing the pilot, but no other casualties were immediately reported, police and fire officials said.

The plane crashed into the six-story Brady Building shortly after 6 a.m. Debris struck an adjacent building, blowing out an electrical transformer and causing a power outage in the area, city Fire Department spokeswoman Jodie Hettrick said.

Because it was early in the morning, few if any people were in the building at the time, and an initial sweep of the property found no sign of anyone hurt on the ground, Hettrick said.

The pilot, believed to be the only person aboard the plane, did not survive, she said. Local television news footage showed flaming wreckage on the ground in between the two buildings.

The Brady Building houses the civil division of the Alaska Department of Law and other offices, but Hettrick said there was no immediate evidence of any foul play.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

The Alaska Dispatch News quoted an Anchorage resident, Mike Coumbe, who lives a few blocks away, as saying he heard the plane circling the area before the crash, adding “I knew it was having problems.”

Hettrick said the crash occurred amid light wind gusts and scattered showers about six hours before dawn in Alaska‘s largest city, which gets only about five hours of daylight at this time of year.

Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said roads were closed for several blocks around the building that was hit.

The origin and intended destination of the flight were not immediately known, authorities said.

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