UPS Plane Crashes In Alabama, Kills 2: What Caused Fiery Cargo Jet Disaster Off Birmingham Airport? [VIDEO]

By Danny Choy on August 14, 2013 1:14 PM EDT

UPS plane crashes
A UPS plane crashes in Birmingham, Alabama, killing the pilot and co-pilot. (Photo: YouTube)

A UPS plane crashed early Wednesday morning just outside Alabama's Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. Two pilots aboard the Airbus A-300 UPS cargo plane were killed. The UPS plane took off from Louisville, Kentucky, and was headed for Birmingham-Shuttlesworth. Unfortunately, the plane crashed during its approach.

The UPS plane, tail number N155UP, reportedly crashed at 6 a.m., just before dawn. Investigators report that the UPS plane crashed in a remote field just outside the airport perimeter. The nose of the Airbus cargo plane detached from the body while a trail of smoldering debris scatters behind the fuselage. A plume of white smoke rises from the site.

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"The crash of UPS Flight 1354 occurred about one-half mile north of Runway 18," announced Kathleen Bergen, FAA spokeswoman.

Some local residents witness the UPS plane crash. According to Birmingham resident Sharon Wilson, she noticed the sound of sputtering jet engines flying over her house. The UPS plane crash occurred moments later.

"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,"' Wilson claimed.

Birmingham resident Jerome Sanders lives directly across the airport runway. According to Sanders, there were flames emitted from the UPS plane before it crashed.

"It was on fire before it hit," Sanders said.

"The plane is in several sections," said Birmingham Mayor William Bell during a press conference following the crash. "There were two to three small explosions, but we think that was related to the aviation fuel."

An investigative team from the National Transportation Safety Board will no doubt study the fuel lines of the wrecked cargo plane, but the official cause of the UPS plane crash has not been confirmed. According to authorities, the weather conditions were rainy with low clouds, a possible factor in the disaster.

Watch the video below to learn more about the devastating UPS plane crash in Birmingham, Alabama.

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