A Horizon Air Bombardier Q400 has crashed in south Puget Sound, after an unauthorised take-off by an airline employee from Seattle Tacoma airport.

No other passengers or crew were on board the aircraft, say the airport and Horizon's parent Alaska Air Group. The employee is believed to be from Horizon Air, says Horizon chief operating officer Constance von Muehlen in a video posted by Alaska.

The aircraft took off from the airport at around 20:00 local time, says Alaska. It subsequently crashed near Ketron Island in Pierce County in Washington state.

"Alaska is working to confirm who was on board, but is believed that there were no passengers or crew on board other than the person operating the plane. NTSB has been notified," says Alaska, referring to the US National Transportation Safety Board.

The airline did not immediately respond to queries for further comment.

Source: Cirium Dashboard