Virginia mall evacuated as plane circles skies
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A shopping center near Smith Mountain Lake in Roanoke, Virginia has been evacuated as an unauthorized plane circles the area. Authorities say the pilot may be trying to commit suicide.
Authorities asked business owners to evacuate a shopping center near Smith Mountain Lake as a small plane taken from a nearby airport circled the area.
Franklin County Administrator Rick Huff said the single-engine Cessna 172 took off from Roanoke Regional Airport about 11 a.m. Monday. The pilot was not authorized to take the plane, he said, "and has given some indication that he intends to commit suicide in the plane."
Huff said law enforcement officials have been in contact with the pilot and are keeping the plane in sight. Huff said the plane circled an area that included the lake and nearby counties.