A UPS 747-400 freighter crashed just after takeoff from Dubai on Friday. Both crew members died, according to local reports.
The aircraft crashed into an unpopulated area of military compound about 10 miles from the Dubai International Airport, authorities in the MIddle Eastern emirate told reporters. Witnesses reported seeing a fiery explosion on impact.
Pictures from the crash site showed aircraft wreckage in flames near a highway in a desert area of the Middle East emirate.
The general manager of Dubai's Civil Aviation Authority told television reporters at the scene that the pilot "reported fire and smoke in the cockpit" and was apparently trying to return to the airport when the plane went down.
UPS said in a statement that the aircraft, bound for the UPS European hub in Cologne, Germany, crashed on takeoff from Dubai Iat about eight p.m. local time.
“This incident is very unfortunate and we will do everything we can to find the cause,” Bob Lekites, UPS airline and international operations manager, said in a statement. … We will release more information as it becomes available, in cooperation with government authorities.”
UPS Airlines has not had a fatal jet crash in its 25-year history. The cargo airline operates more than 200 aircraft, and has 12 747-400s in its fleet.