PHL operations slowly recover from cargo jet fire|
Airline service at Philadelphia International Airport slowly returned to normal this morning after its runways were shut down overnight by a two-alarm fire on a UPS cargo jet, airport and fire officials said. Three crew members on the United Parcel Service DC-8 jet were treated for smoke inhalation from the fire at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The blaze broke out in the plane's cargo hold as it approached Philadelphia on a flight from Atlanta, said Chief William Dell, a Fire Department spokesman. The plane landed at 11:57 p.m. with flames and smoke shooting from it, forcing the crew members to jump out of emergency exits to the runway. A second alarm was sounded at 1:03 a.m., and it took until 4:08 a.m. for the fire to be brought under control, Dell said. The airport's four runways were closed from midnight until about 6 a.m., a time when most scheduled flights are operated by cargo carriers, spokesman Mark Pesce said. Three of the runways reopened at about 6 a.m. but the charred four-engine jet and fire equipment blocked the fourth one. It reopened at 11:05 a.m., Pesce said. UPS spokesman Mark Guiffre said the plane carried routine packages destined for the Philadelphia area and elsewhere. The company must wait until the completion of an investigation by National Transportation Safety Board before checking on the condition of the packages, he said. Customers can use UPS tracking numbers to check on the status of their packages, Guiffre said.