— James Spann (@spann) August 14, 2013
A UPS delivery plane en route to Birmingham, Alabama from Louisville, Kentucky crashed in a field close to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport just before dawn this morning killing the pilot and co-pilot, reports Alabama 13.
This is a breaking story so please stay tuned for updates.
Here's what we know so far...
1. Two People Have Been Killed
— Lawrence (@Lcomarde) August 14, 2013
The Birmingham mayor's office confirmed the deaths of the two pilots this morning. The plane was an Airbus A300. According to Gaynell Hendricks, chairperson of the Birmingham Airport Authority, the cockpit was: "was severed from the plane."
He then added:
It's a grim site.
2. The NTSB Are Hoping the Black Box Was Not Destroyed
NTSB Member Robert Sumwalt briefs the media before boarding a plane to Birmingham to respond to the UPS accident. pic.twitter.com/VqpRtRk9Ri
— NTSB (@NTSB) August 14, 2013
The NTSB are on the scene attempting to establish what caused the horrific crash. NTSB investigator Richard Sumwalt told reporters just prior to leaving Washington D.C. for Alabama that:
We have a good success rate with recovering the recorders. I'm optimistic that we will be able to.
3. There is a Half-Mile of Debris Around the Crash Site
— Scott McClellan (@alastormspotter) August 14, 2013
The plane damaged power lines as it crashed in a field that is owned by the airport. The debris is said to cover a half-mile around the crash site. No buildings were damaged and the airport remains open.
4. The Plane Was 10 Years Old
According to a statement from Airbus:
The plane involved in UPS crash delivered from production line in 2003; had logged 11,000 flight hours in 6,800 flights.
UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols issued a statement:
This incident is very unfortunate, and our thoughts and prayers are with those involved, 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.
5. This is the Second Fatal UPS Plane Crash in Three Years
In 2010, a UPS plane crash in Dubai was traced back to the cargo of lithium batteries that caught fire. The cockpit was engulfed by smoke in minutes after the fire began causing a crash. Two pilots were killed in that crash also. The plane model in that crash was a Dreamliner 787.