FAA: UPS Cargo Jet Crashes in Birmingham, AL

FAA: UPS Cargo Jet Crashes in Birmingham, AL

(AP) FAA: UPS cargo jet crashes in Birmingham, Ala.
By JAY REEVES
Associated Press
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.
A UPS cargo plane crashed Wednesday morning in an open field just outside an airport in Birmingham, Ala.

There were no homes in the immediate area of the crash, said Toni Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham’s airport authority.

The Airbus A300 plane crashed around 5 a.m. CDT on approach to the airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. The plane was en route from Louisville, Ky., Bergen said.

There was no information on injuries, but UPS spokesman Jeff Wafford said there were two crew members aboard the plane.

Herrera-Bast said the plane crashed in “open land” she described as a grassy field on the outskirts of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The crash hasn’t affected airport operations, she said.

The scene is about a half-mile north of Runway 18, 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.

The engines were making an odd sound like sputtering, she said.

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.

The two crewmembers on board were the pilot and the co-pilot, Bell said.

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.

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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Associated Press writers Becky Yonker in Louisville, Ky., and Jeff Martin in Atlanta contributed to this report.


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