Cargo plane crashes at Saudi airport, breaks in half

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:11 EDT
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RIYADH — A Lufthansa cargo plane which caught fire in mid-flight crashed on landing at Riyadh airport on Tuesday, but its two pilots were safe with minor injuries, a Saudi aviation official said.

“The captain and the copilot are in good health, they only had minor injuries,” said Khalid al-Khaibri, a spokesman for the Saudi civil aviation authority.

The pilot of the Lufthansa MD-11, flight 8460 from Frankfurt, reported a fire in the cargo hold of the aircraft to ground officials before landing at Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport, Khaibri told AFP.

The airport immediately put ground rescue and fire teams on alert, he said.

“The captain informed the tower that there was fire in the back of the plane,” he added.

The aircraft broke in half on landing at around noon (0900 GMT) and erupted into flames which were later extinguished.

“The aircraft is totally finished,” an airport ground services official told AFP, declining to give his name.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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