The plane, an Airbus A300 cargo aircraft, [Flight 1354] crashed at 4:45 AM while on approach to Birmingham Airport. There is no preliminary word what caused the crash.
‘It appears the plane, an Airbus A300, broke into at least two pieces. A photograph provided by city officials shows the crumpled front portion of the plane resting in a debris-strewn field.
The plane, which took off from Louisville, Kentucky, went down on a street that runs parallel to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Mayor William Bell said.
The location is about a half mile north of the runway, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told CNN.
The crew did not report any trouble, Bell said, citing conversations with control tower officials. Light showers and a visibility of 10 miles were reported in the area of the airport at the time of the crash, according to CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.
The National Transportation Safety Board expected to have a team on site by 11 a.m. (noon ET), NTSB spokesman Robert Sumwalt told reporters.
Bell said no buildings were hit and no one on the ground was injured. But WBRC, citing Chris Brooks, assistant fire chief of operations for Birmingham Fire and Rescue, reported that emergency crews were not sure if anyone had been injured on the ground.’
There were no other crew members or passengers on the plane.
We will update when we have more…
Several eyewitness accounts indicate there may have been a mechanical malfunction on the UPS A300. One eyewitness claims they saw fire before the plane went down:
Sharon Wilson, who also lives near the airport, said she was in bed before dawn when she heard what sounded like engines sputtering as the plane went over her house.
“It sounded like an airplane had given 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,” Sanders said.