Deadly plane crash at Tokyo airport
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.
7 kids, 7 adults die in Montana plane crash, FAA says
Federal investigators arrived early Monday in Butte, Montana, to investigate the crash of a private airplane that left seven children and seven adults dead.
The group might have been headed to a ski trip, federal officials say, but the destruction at the crash site, in a cemetery, left very few immediate clues.
The crash site was compact. No large chunks of the plane—a single-engine Pilatus PC 12—were readily apparent.
Someone, most likely local residents, set up crosses outside the gates of the cemetery, serving as a makeshift memorial for the dead. Others brought flowers.
The flight was headed to Bozeman, Montana, but was rerouted to Butte instead, said FAA spokesman Mike Fergus. The plane crashed 500 feet short of the runway at Bert Mooney Airport.
No one on the ground was injured, Sheriff John Walsh said.
Martha Guidoni told CNN that she and her husband witnessed the plane crash. She photographed one of the first images from the scene, which showed the cemetery in the foreground of a huge blaze.
“We were just taking a ride—all of a sudden, we watched this plane just take a nosedive,” she told CNN. “We drove into the cemetery to see if there was any way my husband could help someone. We were too late—there was nothing to help.”
Her husband, Steve Guidoni, said the plane “went into the ground” and the flames set a tree on fire.
“I looked to see if there was anybody I could pull out, but there wasn’t anything there, I couldn’t see anything,” he told CNN. “There was some luggage strewn around. ... There was some plane parts.”
The flight plan originated in Redlands, California, according to flight-tracking site FBOweb.com. Stops were made in Vacaville and Oroville, California, before the plane headed for Montana.
The plane stopped at the Oroville airport about 11 a.m., refueled, and departed about half an hour later, said Police Chief Kirk Trostle.
“There were some adults and children on board,” he told reporters Sunday evening, adding that the passengers got out briefly to stretch while the pilot refueled the plane.
Eric Teitelman, Oroville’s director of community development and public works, said the small airport has no control tower, but, because it has a “wide-open runway” and a self-service fuel system, it is a frequent stop for general aviation aircraft.
There were conflicting reports about ownership of the plane, manufactured in 2001.