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Large Cargo Plane Crash in Birmingham, Ala



A large cargo plane crashed in a field outside Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport early Wednesday, police there say.  

The plane was a UPS craft. Birmingham Mayor William Bell says the pilot and co-pilot were killed.

"The plane is in several sections," said Bell, who was briefed on the situation by the city's fire chief. "There were two to three small explosions, but we think that was related to the aviation fuel."

 

WIAT TV Photo via CBSNews.com

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WIAT-TV's Rick Jackson
 
The Federal Aviation Administration says UPS Flight 1354 was an A300 enroute from Louisville, Ken. to Birmingham, Toni Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, says the plane crashed on the outskirts of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

Bast says the area is outside the perimeter fence of the airport. She says the crash hasn't affected airport operations.

AP Photo
Debris lies strewn as a UPS cargo plane rests on a hill at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport . (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
  AP Photo
Fire crews investigate where a UPS cargo plane lies on a hill at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
AP Photo
Fire crews assess damage on a street where a UPS cargo plane knocked down trees and power lines as it crashed  (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
  AP Photo

A UPS cargo plane lies on a hill at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport after crashing on approach Wednesday.  Toni Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, says there are no homes in the immediate area of the crash. (AP Photo/ AL.com, Mark Almond)
AP Photo

Debris burns as a UPS cargo plane lies on a hill at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
  AP Photo
Wreckage of a UPS cargo plane lies on a hill at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport 
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)
AP Photo   AP Photo
Above and left, AP Photo/ AL.com, Mark Almond
AP Photo
(AP Photo/Al Yeager)
  AP Photo
(AP Photo/Al Yeager)
AP PhotoA UPS cargo plane lies on a hill at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport after crashing on approach, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in Birmingham, Ala. Toni

Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, says there are no homes in the immediate area of the crash.

(AP Photo/Hal Yeager)

AP Photo< In this undated photo released by FlightAware, An Airbus A300 UPS cargo plane is seen. The plane that crashed outside Birmingham was an Airbus A300 plane  like this one

The crash happened just before 5 a.m. CDT on approach to the airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

Sharon Wilson, who lives near the airport, said she was in bed before dawn when an airplane went over her house at what sounded like treetop level.

"It sounded like an airplane had given out of fuel. We thought it was trying to make it to the airport. But a few minutes later we heard a loud `boom,'" she said.


AP Photo At 7 a.m. Wednesday, conditions in the area were rainy with low clouds. Smoke was still rising from the scene at 7:47 a.m. There was a piece of the plane's white fuselage near a blackened area on the ground.d.

The plane appears to have struck a massive hardwood tree north of the runway. The top was broken out of the tree and there are pieces of a utility pole and limbs in the road. Nearby, grass was blackened near the bottom of a hill. A piece of the fuselage and an engine are visible on the crest of the hill. White smoke was pouring from the other side of the hill.

"As we work through this difficult situation, we ask for your patience, and that you keep those involved in your thoughts and prayers," Atlanta-based UPS said in a statement.

Previously, a UPS cargo plane crashed on Sept. 3, 2010, in the United Arab Emirates, just outside Dubai. Both pilots were killed. Authorities there blamed the crash on its load of between 80,000 to 90,000 lithium batteries, which are sensitive to temperature. Investigators found that a fire on board likely began in the cargo containing the batteries.



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Topics : Disaster_Accident
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Locations : BirminghamLouisville
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