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Wed August 14, 2013
Two Dead in UPS Cargo Plane Crash in Birmingham
A federal aviation official says a large UPS cargo plane has crashed near an airport in Birmingham, Ala.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen tells The Associated Press that the A300 plane crashed on approach to the airport before dawn Wednesday.
Bergen says the plane was en route from Louisville to Birmingham.
Few other details were immediately available.
Bergen says she had no information on injuries.
Update: 10:51 a.m.
The Birmingham fire chief has confirmed that both the pilot and co-pilot were killed in the crash this morning. From the Associated Press:
The fire chief in Birmingham, Ala., says the pilot and co-pilot of a large UPS cargo plane were both killed when the jet crashed.
Birmingham Fire Chief Ivor Brooks says both crewmembers were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, in a grassy field just outside the city's airport early Wednesday.
UPS spokesman Jeff Wafford has said there were two crew members aboard the plane.
The Airbus A300 plane crashed Wednesday morning on approach to the airport. The plane was en route from Louisville, Ky.
Brooks said at 9:30 CDT that the fire was out.
Update: 10:30 a.m.
UPS has released a statement about the crash. From the company's website:
"This incident is very unfortunate, and our thoughts and prayers are with those involved," said UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols.
"We place the utmost value on the safety of our employees, our customers and the public. We will immediately engage with the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation, and we will work exhaustively on response efforts," continued Nichols.
Airplane manufacturer Airbus has also released details about the plane involved in the crash:
The aircraft involved in the accident, registered under the number N155UP was MSN 841, delivered to UPS from the production line in 2003. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 11000 flight hours in some 6800 flights. It was powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. At this time no further factual information is available.
In line with the ICAO Annex 13 international convention, Airbus will provide full technical assistance to the French BEA as well as to the authorities who will be responsible for the accident investigation. A team of specialists from Airbus is being dispatched to Alabama.
The A300-600F is a freighter twin-engine widebody. The first A300-600F freighter entered service in 1983. By the end of June 2013, 104 A300-600F were in service.
Airbus will make further factual information available as soon as the details have been confirmed. However, the investigation remains the entire responsibility of the relevant authorities and it would be inappropriate for Airbus to enter into any form of speculation into the cause of the accident.
The concerns and sympathy of the Airbus employees go to the families, friends and loved ones affected by the accident of Flight 1354.
Update: 9:45 a.m.
Various outlets are reporting the mayor of Birmingham saying the crew has died, but this has not been confirmed.
The crash site is outside the fence-line of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport, in a hilly green area. That information comes from the scene, where a reporter for the website AL.com says large parts of the plane lay some 50 yards apart in the field. Multiple fire trucks were spraying the smoldering field this morning. Toni Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, tells The Associated Press that there are no homes in the immediate area of the crash. Local residents tell AL.com that they were told they do not need to evacuate the area — but that they also lost power, as it seems the plane may have clipped power lines on its way to the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board says it is sending a team to Alabama to help investigate the crash.
Update: 7:45 a.m.
Al.com—the web version of The Birmingham News—writes:
A police officer at the scene said the two pilots on board remain unaccounted for.
The plane went down around 4:55 a.m. local time, officials on the scene say. There were up to five explosions after the plane went down, witnesses heard.
We'll update this story when more information becomes available.