Cargo Plane Crashes on Landing at Tokyo Airport

TOKYO (AP) - A FedEx cargo plane crashed early Monday morning
amid heavy winds at Tokyo's international airport and burst into flames. The pilot and copilot were taken to a hospital, and a local TV station reported they were both confirmed dead.

The flight from Guangzhou China crashed onto a runway at Narita Airport and was immediately swarmed by firefighters and rescuers.

The pilot and copilot - the only people onboard the flight - were extracted from the cockpit and brought to a local hospital, according to airport spokeswoman Misuho Fukuda.

TV Asahi reported that both had been confirmed dead.

Television footage showed the plane bounce and then burst into flames as it skidded to a halt on the runway. The twisted remains of the plane were still smoking hours after the crash.

The plane smashed into the longer of Narita's two runways, which remained closed Monday morning with all incoming flights diverted,
Fukuda said.

Local news reports said the plane was an MD-11.

Strong winds and turbulence have caused other recent incidents at the airport. Last month a flight from the Philippines was jolted by severe turbulence as it circled prior to landing, injuring 50 passengers and crew members.

Narita Airport is a major international hub located about 35 miles (60 kilometers) east of central Tokyo. It is Japan's second-busiest airport, after Haneda Airport, which is also in Tokyo.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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