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A FedEx cargo plane crash-landed and burst into flames early Monday morning at Narita International Airport, east of Tokyo, killing the two U.S. crew members aboard and causing widespread flight disruption at Japan’s largest international gateway.
Transport ministry and other investigators believe the accident was partly caused by strong winds buffeting the MD-11 aircraft as it attempted to land at around 6:50 a.m.
Winds of up to 72 kilometers per hour were blowing in the vicinity of the airport at the time.
Two men were rescued from the cockpit at around 8 a.m. but were confirmed dead at a nearby hospital.
The police said they confirmed with FedEx that the crew members of the flight were Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, the pilot, and Anthony Stephen Pino, 49, the co-pilot-both U.S. citizens.
Video footage showed the plane touching down on its rear wheels and its nose slamming into the runway.
The plane bounced and its left wing hit the ground, bursting into flames.
It then flopped over and veered off the runway with flames coming from the center of the fuselage.