FedEx plane crashes on landing in Tokyo, two dead


July 15, 2010 Updated Mar 23, 2009 at 12:01 AM CDT

* FedEx freight plane crashes at Tokyo airport, two dead

* Narita main runway closed; more than 30 flights cancelled

* First fatal crash at Narita since in opened in 1978

By Chisa Fujioka

TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters) - A FedEx Corp cargo plane caught
in a gust of wind crashed and burst into flames as it landed at
Japan's Narita airport on Monday, killing the two crew and
closing the main runway at the busy gateway to Tokyo.

Airlines cancelled more than 30 flights and diverted some to
other airports as the longest of two runways was closed.

"We have information that strong winds caused the plane to
divert from the runway," a Narita Airport spokeswoman said.

The FedEx plane landed hard, tipped onto its left wing and
burst into flames, video of the crash on public broadcaster NHK

A bright orange fireball and black billowing smoke engulfed
the plane as it flipped and skidded off the runway. Firefighters
sprayed foam onto the broken remains of the plane with its wheels
in the air.

The MD-11 plane had been on a cargo flight from Guangzhou,
China, FedEx said in a statement.

The plane's two American crew had died, a transport ministry
official told reporters, in what was the first fatal crash at
Narita airport since it opened in 1978.

It was unclear how long the main runway would be closed at
Narita, the main international airport for the Japanese capital.

Japan Airlines Corp, Japan's main international airline, said
27 flights had been cancelled, affecting nearly 6,700 people, and
some arriving flights had been diverted to Tokyo's Haneda airport
and Sapporo airport in northern Japan.

All Nippon Airways said in a statement that the airline had
cancelled 9 flights so far, including international flights to

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