Plane hijack put US state on red alert after pilot threatened to hit supermarket

A US state was put on red alert after a plane was hijacked and the pilot threatened to crash into a supermarket.

The plane spent several hours flying wildly above Mississippi, where residents have been told to stay alert.

Footage posted on social media showed an aircraft flying low above the area.

It has now ‘landed safely’, according to the state’s governor, and appears to have come down in a field in the north of the state.

The pilot has been arrested and taken into custody.

Police said they were made aware of an out of control plane at 5am this morning.

They said the pilot was ‘threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart [sic] on West Main’, a large supermarket in the city of Tupelo.

Officers were in contact with the pilot and engaged in attempts to talk him down.

Police said ‘local, state and federal authorities are continuing to monitor this dangerous situation’.

An earlier statement said: ‘Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given.

‘With the mobility of an airplane of that type the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo.’

The plane was pictured flying low above Mississippi and is threatening to crash into a Walmart (Picture: Twitter)
The large store is in the middle of a built up area and close to an airstrip (Picture: Google Earth)
Flight data reveals the erratic path taken by the pilot over around four hours (Picture: Reuters)

Authorities believe the was stolen and are working to establish whether the pilot may be an employee at the local airport, according to reports.

It’s unclear what the motive behind the incident was or why Walmart was singled out as a target.

The aircraft involved was a white Beechcraft King Air twin engine plane.

It is capable of carrying seven people, has a wingspan of 50ft and weighs over three tonnes.

Mississippi governor Tate Reeves wrote on Twitter: ‘State law enforcement and emergency managers are closely tracking this dangerous situation.

‘All citizens should be on alert and aware of updates from the Tupelo Police Department.’

He later said the ‘situation has been resolved and that no-one was injured’.



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