2 confirmed dead in cargo plane crash near Dubai
By Shabtai Gold
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A United Parcel Services cargo plane crashed Friday evening into a military camp near Dubai as it was taking off for Germany.
Officials in the emirate said two people died in the incident.
The United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that "the bodies of two pilots were found" at the crash site.
"The concerned authorities are conducting the necessary investigations to identify the cause of the crash," a GCAA statement read.
A 747-400 type cargo plane heading from Dubai to Cologne, Germany "with two crew members on board crashed on take-off," said UPS in a statement on its website, declining to confirm the casualty reports.
"Our thoughts go out to the crew members involved in the incident and their families," said UPS Airline and International Operations Manager Bob Lekites.
The National newspaper, quoting a military source at the scene, reported that the plane crashed inside the Nad al-Sheba military camp, near Academic City and Global Village.
The scene of the accident was about 19 miles away from where a Sudanese cargo plane crashed shortly after take-off from Sharjah airport last October, killing six staff on board.
Firefighters and other emergency service personnel were at the scene of the UPS crash, about 11 miles outside the city-state's international airport.
Local reports said the plane went down at about 7:45 pm and placed the crash beside a major artery, the Al-Ain Dubai Highway.
Witnesses, speaking with The National newspaper, said a "fireball" erupted from the crash site, though conflicting earlier reports made it unclear if a fire had ignited on board the plane prior to its hitting the ground.
According to Saif al-Suwaidi, the director-general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, the pilot radioed air traffic control shortly after takeoff and said there was a fire on board, the National reported.
The official said the pilot was asked to return but he missed the approach.
(c) 2010, Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany).
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