Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 14:44 UK

Plane comes off Brussels runway


The scene of the plane crash

A cargo plane has slid off the runway and split in two at Brussels Airport during take-off, slightly injuring four people aboard.

Firefighters coated the wings with retardant foam as the plane was full of fuel when the crash happened at 1330 (1130 GMT), but it did not catch fire.

The Boeing 747 belongs to US freight company Kalitta and had five people aboard, an airport spokeswoman said.

It is not known what caused the plane, said to be bound for Bahrain, to crash.

Francis Vermeiren, mayor of the nearby town of Zaventem, said four of those aboard had been "slightly injured".

Earlier, airport spokeswoman Tru Lefevere told AFP news agency that the five had been taken to hospital but none was injured.

Mr Vermeiren, who was coordinating the emergency effort, said the Boeing had come to a halt at the end of a runway, near houses and a cemetery.

He did not know what the plane was carrying.

Speaking to Belgian radio station VRT, he said the pilot had told rescue authorities of hearing a "large noise" while trying to take off.

According to the airport, air traffic has not been disrupted.

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