From: Reuters
Published May 25, 2008 12:01 PM

Cargo plane breaks in two at Brussels airport

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An American Kalitta Air cargo plane slid off the runway at Brussels's Zaventem airport on Sunday and broke in two but there were no casualties, the fire brigade spokesman said.

The Boeing aircraft's five crew all escaped through an inflatable emergency slide, spokesman Francis Boileau said. Four of them had minor injuries.

Boileau did not know if the accident happened during take off or landing, but said that apart from its cargo of cars and equipment, the jet was full of fuel.

He said the plane came to a halt some 200 metres (650 feet) from the runway and only 10 metres (30 feet) from a railway line.

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"There was a danger of an explosion just after the accident because it was full of kerosene, about 100 tonnes of it, and there was a big leakage when it broke," Boileau said.

The fire brigade had secured the leakage within 30 minutes, he said.

"We see from the large tracks on the runway that the pilot tried to stop the aircraft, because he understood he could not bring it up into the air, and he drove it off the runway," Boileau said.

The Kalitta Air company's website says it is a Michigan Limited Liability Company owned by Conrad Kalitta. It started in November 2000 with three Boeing 747 aircraft and the fleet has grown to a present total of 18 B 747 freighters.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)

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