23 Mar 2009

Cargo plane explodes at Tokyo airport

10:32 pm on 23 March 2009

A Federal Express Corp cargo plane crashed and burst into flames as it landed at Narita international airport on Monday.

The NHK public broadcaster showed video of the plane crashing and exploding.

The pilot and co-pilot, both believed to be US citizens, were killed.

The airport was being buffeted by winds of up to 70km/h at the time of the crash.

The broadcaster said the the plane crashed on the main, long runway of Narita airport - the main international airport for the Japanese capital.

Japanese media said the plane was a FedEx cargo flight from Guangzhou, China and a FedEx logo was clearly visible on the upturned remains of the aircraft.

NHK's video showed the plane land hard, tip onto its left wing and burst into flames.

It ended upside down off to one side of the runway with firefighters spraying foam on the broken remains of the plane with its wheel in the air.

Kyodo news agency said that the plane was an MD-11, a freighter made by McDonnell Douglas, part of Boeing.