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Pilot threatens to crash plane into Walmart, residents evacuated

Pilot threatens to crash plane into Walmart, residents evacuated

Cops say they have been in 'direct' contact with the pilot

A pilot of a small plane flying over Tupelo in Mississippi has threatened to crash into a branch of Walmart, prompting cops to evacuate at the store. 

Tupelo Police said they began to receive reports about the plane flying over the town at around 5am local time, after which the pilot rang 911 and made threats to crash the plane into Walmart

In response to the threat, cops have evacuated both Walmart and a branch of Dodges on West Main. 

However, Tupelo Police have told residents to stay away from the area and warned that the plane and its pilot could create a danger zone ‘much larger than Tupelo’ due to the mobility of the aircraft. 

Police have said the situation is currently ongoing and that officers are in contact with the pilot directly.

In a statement, the force said: “On 09-03-2022 at approximately 05:00 am TPD was notified that a pilot of an airplane (possibly King Air type) was flying over Tupelo.  

“The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Walmart on West Main.

“TPD has worked with Walmart West and Dodges on West Main to evacuate the stores and disperse people as much as practical. 

“TPD also has been able to begin talking with the pilot directly.

“At this time the situation is ongoing with TPD and all Emergency Services in our area on alert.

“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.”

Footage shared on social media shows the small plane circling fairly low in the sky. 

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said officers were 'closely tracking' the situation and told residents to ‘be on alert’.

In a post on Twitter, he wrote: “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.”

The plane was still in the air more than three hours after the first reports were made at 5am. 

A spokesperson for Walmart told the Daily Mail in a statement: “The store is currently closed and evacuated. 

“We’re working closely with local investigators and are referring questions to law enforcement.” 

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Featured Image Credit: @cityking_gank_/Twitter

Topics: US News, Crime, Walmart