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Page last updated at 06:41 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Fiery Tokyo plane crash kills two

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The crash and its aftermath

A cargo plane has crash-landed in high winds at Japan's largest airport, killing both crew members on board.

The accident happened as the Federal Express plane arrived at Narita international airport, near Tokyo, from Guangzhou in China.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK showed dramatic footage of the plane bouncing as it landed on the runway, then bursting into flames.

Dozens of flights have been cancelled as one runway at Narita remains closed.

Firefighters work to put out the flames after a FedEx cargo plane crashes on arrival at Narita airport, Tokyo, on Monday
The two pilots were taken to hospital but confirmed dead
It took firefighters about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.

The accident happened at about 0650 local time on Monday (2150 GMT Sunday).

The two crew were taken to hospital but both were confirmed dead.

Officials said the pilot, Kevin Kyle Mosley, was 54 years old and the co-pilot, Anthony Stephen Pino, was 49. Both were American.

Flight delays

Footage of the crash shows the plane landing hard, tipping on to its left wing and bursting into flame as it then rolled over.

The plane landed in strong winds, of up to 72 km (45 miles) per hour, and Japan's meteorological agency had issued a gale warning for the area around Narita.

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

But officials said it was too soon to confirm if the winds caused the crash.

The jet was a McDonnell Douglas MD-11, according to Japan's Kyodo News.

Airlines have cancelled more than 30 flights and diverted others to nearby airports, because Narita's longest runway remains closed.

Parts of the wreckage were still burning hours after the crash.

Kyodo News said it was the first fatal aircraft accident at Narita Airport since it opened in 1978.



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