Small plane crashes in downtown Tampa

TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A private single-engine plane rammed into a bank building in downtown Tampa on Saturday, piloted by a 15-year-old who died in the crash, CNN reported.

There was no immediate word on any other possible casualties.


The boy pilot was a British national who attended a local high school and had been taking flight lessons for a couple of years, authorities said.

"We believe he departed without anyone's knowledge, or their giving him the OK to leave" from a municipal airport in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Greg Tita told CNN.

Two floors of the Bank of America building were damaged, and the wreckage of plane's tail could be seen dangling from the side of the 41-story building, about 20 stories up.

In other apparently unrelated incidents, small plane crashes were also reported Saturday northwest of Boulder, Colo., and in a vacant lot in the Southern California town of Buena Park.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said there was no indication that any of the three small-plane crashes were linked to terrorism.

"White House staff on the road have been in touch with Gov. (Tom) Ridge (in charge of homeland security), and the president (Bush) has been briefed," McClellan said. "None of these incidents appear to be related and there's no indication of terrorism."


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