US Air Force plane crashes, all on board survive
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Delaware, Apr 3 (Reuters) A US Air Force C-5 Galaxy cargo plane crashed and broke apart short of the runway at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware today but all 17 people on board survived, the Air Force said.
There was no precise information about injuries but many of those on the plane were taken to hospital, Air Force spokesman Capt. John Sheets said. There were 14 crew members and three civilian contractors on board, he said.
The plane took off from Dover and was due to fly to US Naval Station Rota in Spain before heading to Kuwait. It encountered trouble once in the air and returned to the base, crashing as it tried to land.
''After taking off there was some type of in-flight emergency, and when it returned to the base it landed short of the runway,'' said Sheets, a spokesman at Scott Air Force Base, which is affiliated with the Dover base.
The plane lay on a field few hundred yards (metres) from the runway, with the cockpit broken away and a wing damaged.
The tail section was about 200 yards (metres) from the rest of the plane, near a building. Rescue workers sprayed the plane with protective foam and there was an odor of jet fuel in the air, but no sign of fire was evident.
The weather at the base was reported as partly cloudy with winds of 7 mph.
The C-5, made by Lockheed Martin, is the biggest plane in the Air Force and one of the largest in the world.
It is used for large shipments of cargo around the globe, with a capacity to carry loads such as two M1 battle tanks or six Apache helicopters with their engines removed, and normally flies with a crew of seven.
The plane has four engines, made by General Electric.
The Dover base has the US military's largest and busiest air-freight terminal and the service flies missions to more than 100 countries, according to the base Web site.
REUTERS TM BS2201