Pilots die in UPS plane crash in Birmingham, Alabama

Aug 14 2013

Two people were killed when a UPS cargo plane crashed as it approached an airport in Birmingham, Alabama, and exploded in a fireball, officials say.

The pilot and co-pilot, who were the only crew aboard, died in the incident. No-one else was hurt.

The A300 plane crashed on approach before dawn on Wednesday, said the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Officials say the aircraft went down in a grassy field near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

The Airbus, which was arriving from Louisville, Kentucky, was in several sections, Birmingham Mayor William Bell said.

"There were two to three small explosions, but we think that was related to the aviation fuel," he added.

An airport spokeswoman said their operations had not been affected by the crash. There were no homes in the area where the plane went down.

Smoking wreckage and charred debris were left strewn across the field, including the package delivery firm's cargo.

Sharon Wilson, who lives near the airport, said the plane sounded as though it was in trouble as it flew low over her house.

"It sounded like an airplane had given out of fuel," she told the Associated Press news agency.

"We thought it was trying to make it to the airport. But a few minutes later, we heard a loud boom."

In 2010 a UPS plane crashed in the United Arab Emirates, killing both pilots.

That incident was blamed on a cargo load of lithium batteries, which are sensitive to temperature. They caught fire, an investigation concluded.

UPS spokesman Jeff Wafford did not specify what type of cargo was on the plane involved in Wednesday's incident. The crew members' names were not released.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News 2013 BBC


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