A cargo plane owned by US courier United Parcel Service caught fire shortly after take-off and crashed in a military base on the outskirts of the Gulf city of Dubai on Friday, killing both crew members, civil aviation authorities said.
Plumes of smoke rising from inside the military base where the Boeing 747-400 came down, reportedly after it caught fire and the pilots tried to crash-land the jumbo jet, one of the world’s largest aircraft.
An Emirati official said that the accident “has not affected air traffic in Dubai or road transport,” and that there were no casualties on the ground.
The plane, carrying mostly children’s toys and plastic products, crashed inside the base, which only ambulances and rescue vehicles were allowed to enter, according to a civil defence official.
“The pilot and co-pilot were found dead” in the debris, the official United Arab Emirates WAM news agency reported.
A statement by UPS, the world’s largest courier service, said the plane was flying with a crew of two.
A civil aviation statement did not elaborate on the cause of the crash, but said that measures were taken to contain the fire resulting from the accident.
“The plane encountered technical difficulties after takeoff from Dubai airport and the captain tried to land again, but the plane crashed,” a civil aviation spokesman said.
Dubai’s state television said that “technical problems” had caused the crash.
Witnesses said that the plane was on fire before it hit the ground.