UPS cargo plane has crashed in a field outside an airport in Alabama, killing the pilot and co-pilot, a US official and the mayor say.
The Airbus A300 plane belonging to the freight handling company UPS was travelling from Louisville in Kentucky on Wednesday and crashed while approaching Birmingham airport, about half a mile (0.8km) north of the runway, said Kathleen Bergen, an official with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Birmingham mayor William Bell said the pilot and co-pilot died in the pre-dawn crash, the news web site al.com said. They were the only people on board.
No one was injured on the ground, Mr Bell was quoted as saying. A church and several homes lie 500 metres from the crash site, al.com said.
It quoted one Eddie Smith, who lives near the airport, as saying he heard a loud explosion before dawn.
“It shook my house so hard I jumped up,” Mr Smith said. Later, another loud boom rang out, he said.
Video on the website showed flames at the crash site in a green grassy area and columns of grey smoke rising.
Many fire trucks were on the scene.
UPS issued a brief statement saying it would provide details as they become available, but gave no word on how many people were on the plane.
“As we work through this difficult situation, we ask for your patience, and that you keep those involved in your thoughts and prayers,” the UPS statement said.
There were no homes in the immediate area of the crash, said Toni Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham’s airport authority.
“As we work through this difficult situation, we ask for your patience, and that you keep those involved in your thoughts and prayers,” Atlanta-based UPS said in a statement.
Ms Herrera-Bast said the plane crashed in “open land” she described as a grassy field on the outskirts of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The crash hasn’t affected airport operations, she said.
At 7am local time Wednesday, conditions in the area were rainy with low clouds. Smoke was still rising from the crash scene at 7.47am. A piece of the plane’s white fuselage could be seen near a blackened area on the ground.
“The plane is in several sections,” said Mr Bell, who was briefed on the situation by the city’s fire chief.
“There were two to three small explosions, but we think that was related to the aviation fuel.”
Previously, a UPS cargo plane crashed on September 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. [AFP]
US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.
President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”
I WON THE ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”
He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.
However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.
Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead
Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.
The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.
Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.
Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.
US Election Is Far From Over — Trump
Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.
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