News Article - February 09 2006

UPS plane that burned was carrying two declared hazardous items
  PHILADELPHIA - A UPS cargo plane heavily damaged by an intense fire was carrying two declared hazardous items, but federal investigators said Thursday that so far there is no link between the packages and the blaze. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board have removed four of the 18 cargo pallets from the burned-out aircraft, including one that contained a liter of a flammable solvent known as amyl methyl ketone, said agency spokeswoman Lauren Peduzzi. One bin that has not yet been removed contained tire-repair kits. The hazardous nature of the kits was not immediately clear, Peduzzi said.

   The plane made an emergency landing early Wednesday at Philadelphia International Airport as smoke and flames poured out of its cargo hold. According to the cockpit voice recorder, the crew noticed an odor in the plane about 23 minutes before landing, Peduzzi said. Three minutes before touchdown, a remark was made about a light in the cockpit indicating smoke in the cargo hold. Thirty-three seconds after landing, as fire ripped through the rear of the plane, the crew of three evacuated. They were treated for smoke inhalation and released.

   Investigators will also be looking at the flight data recorder, but Peduzzi said that some of the systems monitored by the instrument were lost about two minutes before touchdown. The recorder monitors data such as a plane's speed and altitude. The DC-8 aircraft was carrying about 6,000 routine packages from Atlanta to Philadelphia. A UPS spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.

Source - AP