UPS Cargo Plane Crashes in Alabama

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 14 2013 9:45 AM

Two Feared Dead as UPS Cargo Plane Crashes in Alabama

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The tail section of a UPS plane parked at Liberty Airport October 29, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey

File photo by Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

A developing story out of Alabama this morning, where a UPS cargo plane crashed on the outskirts of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The crash killed the pilot and co-pilot, according to Birmingham Mayor William Bell, but no other injuries have been reported. Here's the Associated Press with what we know:

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. ... Herrera-Bast said the plane crashed in "open land" she described as a grassy field on the outskirts of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. ...
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.
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The FAA is still investigating the exact cause of the crash and has remained largely silent on the details so far. Mayor Bell, meanwhile, is talking more freely with the press. "The plane is in several sections," he told reporters. "There were two to three small explosions, but we think that was related to the aviation fuel." The NTSB is sending a team to the scene to investigate.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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