WASHINGTON: US police said Saturday that the pilot of a small plane circling over Tupelo, Mississippi, has threatened to crash the aircraft into a Walmart store.

A statement from the Tupelo Police Department said the pilot of a plane flying over the city had contacted a 911 operator and was “threatening to intentionally crash into Walmart on West Main.”

It said police had evacuated the sprawling department store as well as a neighboring store “and disperse people as much as practical.”

Police have been in contact with the pilot, the statement said, but it gave no information on the pilot’s identity or motive.

Police said the pilot called the emergency number around 5:00 am.

A map from the FlightAware website showed what appeared to be the plane’s course – an erratic, zigzag pattern centered around Tupelo, a city of about 40,000.

But the police statement cautioned that “with the motility of an airplane of that type, the danger zone is much larger.”

Police said the plane appeared to be of the “King Air type,” a utility plane built by Beechcraft, generally with seating for six or seven passengers.


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