Deadly plane crash at Tokyo airport

art_fedex_crash_afp_gi(CNN) — The pilot and co-pilot aboard a FedEx cargo plane were killed when the plane burst into flames Monday while landing at Tokyo’s Narita airport in Japan, airport and hospital officials said.

Both crew members were American men, an official at Narita Red Cross Hospital told CNN.

Video from the landing showed the plane bouncing at least twice on the runway and veering left as it turned on its side before bursting into flames. The fire destroyed the aircraft, which was identified by FedEx as a McDonnell Douglas MD-11.


Japan’s Ministry of Transport said it was the first fatal crash at Narita, which opened in 1978.

Strong winds may have played a role in the crash, said Masaru Fujisaki, an airport official.

FedEx Express Flight 80 took off from Guangzhou, China, and crashed at Narita about 7 a.m. Monday (6 p.m. Sunday ET), said FedEx spokesman Matt Ceniceros.

According to observations at the airport, wind gusts were reported to be between 30 to 50 mph around the time if the crash.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that Narita firefighters had worked through the flaming wreckage to try to rescue two people believed to be the crew.

The news agency said the cargo plane was landing on Runway A, the longer of the two runways at Narita, a major international airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board in Washington said Sunday night it was sending a team to Japan to assist in the investigation of the crash.

Source: CNN