BIRMINGHAM,— A large UPS cargo plane crashed in an open field just outside an airport in Birmingham, Alabama, and the shipping giant said two crew members were aboard.
There was no immediate information on injuries.
The A300 crashed on its approach to the airport before dawn Wednesday, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. The plane was en route from Louisville, Kentucky.
"The plane is in several sections," said Birmingham Mayor William Bell, who was briefed by the city's fire chief. "There were two to three small explosions, but we think that was related to the aviation fuel."
The two crewmembers on board were the pilot and the co-pilot, Bell said.
A spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, Toni Herrera-Bast, said no homes were in the immediate area. She said the crash had not affected operations at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, one of the country's smaller airports that serves the South.
Conditions in the area were rainy with low clouds Wednesday morning. Smoke was still rising from the scene almost three hours after the crash. A piece of the plane's fuselage lay near some blackened ground.
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 likely began in that cargo.