Two die as UPS cargo plane crashes in Alabama
on 14/08/2013 17:02:50
The pilot and co-pilot of the UPS Airbus A300 were pronounced dead at the scene near Birmingham.
"The plane is in several sections," said mayor William Bell. "There were two to three small explosions, but we think that was related to the aviation fuel."
Sharon Wilson, who lives near the airport, said she was in bed when the plane went over her house at what sounded like treetop level.The engines were making an odd sound like sputtering, she said.
"It sounded like an airplane had run 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.
Another resident, Jerome Sanders, lives directly across from the runway. He said he heard a plane just before dawn and could see flames seconds before it crashed. "It was on fire before it hit," he said.
The plane came down away from buildings and the crash did not affect operations at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
In September 2010, a UPS cargo plane crashed in the United Arab Emirates, just outside Dubai. Both pilots were killed. Authorities blamed that 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 probably began in the cargo.