A UPS jumbo cargo plane with at least two people aboard crashed early Wednesday just outside the fence of the Birmingham, Ala., airport, and FAA official confirmed.
A UPS that the plane was a UPS A-300 Airbus, tail number N155UP, with two crew members aboard. The flight originated in Louisville, Ky., and crashed upon its approach in Birmingham. UPS said the crew has not been located.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the crew," the spokesman said.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told The Associated Press that the plane crashed before dawn Wednesday. Debris was still smoldering and the nose of the plane was detached from the body.
Toni Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, said the cargo plane crashed near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. Bast said the crash site is outside the airport's perimeter fence and has not affected airport operations.
Few other details were immediately available. The plane appears to have crashed in an isolated field and a plume of smoke was seen rising from the site. Teams of emergency crews responded to the crash.
Bergen says she had no information on injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was deploying a Go-Team from Washington, D.C., to investigate the crash.
The scene is about a half-mile north of Runway 18. At 7 a.m. Wednesday, conditions in the area were rainy with low clouds.
Previously, a UPS cargo plane crashed on Sept. 3, 2010, in the United Arab Emirates, just outside Dubai. Both pilots were killed. Authorities there blamed the crash on its load of between 80,000 to 90,000 lithium batteries, which are sensitive to temperature. Investigators found that a fire on board likely began in the cargo containing the batteries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report