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Suspect crashes stolen helicopter shortly after takeoff at Sacramento airport

A person who tried to hijack a helicopter Wednesday morning at Sacramento Executive Airport crashed onto the runway shortly after starting the plane, according to authorities.

It is not clear how far the suspect was able to get the helicopter off the runway before crashing, but images taken by KCRA TV in Sacramento showed a black helicopter lying on its side. Parts of the helicopter were scattered on the ground, including rotor blades, and ground crews used a crane to place the plane on its landing gear, authorities told the news station.

The Sacramento Police Department told KCRA the suspect damaged four other helicopters before starting the crashed plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter is a Bell 429 and it crashed around 5 am There is no information on how many people were inside the helicopter when it crashed or if anyone was injured, the FAA said.

The suspect is still on the run, according to authorities.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation took the lead in the incident and could not be reached for comment on the accident. FBI Special Agent Sean Reagan told KCRA there is a person of interest, but he did not release any information about an arrest or motive.

“If someone wanted to take a plane for a ride, someone wanted to take a plane to do some other criminal activity or damage other property, terrorism would be at the other end of the spectrum,” Reagan said.