Cargo plane crashes in central California, bursts into flames

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. (AP) - A DC-8 cargo plane crashed into an automobile wrecking yard while trying to make an emergency landing late Wednesday and burst into flames, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

It was not immediately known how many people were on board or if there were any survivors, the FAA said. The plane, Emery Worldwide transport service Flight 17, typically carries a crew of three, said Jim Whitehead, manager of the FAA's regional operations center in Los Angeles.

The crash set up to 200 cars on fire and caused explosions over a 200-yard-long area, fire Capt. Dan Haverty told KXTV.

Witnesses told the station they saw the plane take off from the former Mather Air Force Base and then turn around.

KCBS radio said the pilot reported trouble, circled back to make an emergency landing and then crashed.

There were no immediate reports of injuries on the ground.

Flames covered several hundred yards, and a piece of the aircraft was seen burning in a nearby wrecking yard.

Since its closure in 1993 as a military base, Mather has become a civilian airport and the Sacramento region's air cargo hub.

Emery, based in Redwood City, specializes in transportation services for business shippers of heavyweight cargo, the company says on its Web site. The $2.4-billion company is a subsidiary of CNF Inc., a $5.6-billion diversified transportation company based in Palo Alto, the site states.


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