Residents in Alabama witnessed a deadly crash early yesterday when a UPS cargo jet flying out of Louisville, Kentucky slammed to the ground near Birmingham's airport.
Both pilots on board were killed, and many who live near the scene say they are counting their blessings it wasn't much worse.
“The broken and burnt wreckage of the A-300 cargo plane sits in an open field a half mile from a neighborhood,” reports CNN’s David Mattingly.
“Nearby broken trees and power lines show how close the jet came to killing people in their homes.”
Pieces of the plane littered witness Barbara Benson’s yard.
“I'm thankful that it did not kill us,” says Benson, “because that's dangerous.”
The flight was uneventful until its final seconds, approaching the airport in Birmingham, when people awoke to what one woman says sounded like sputtering over their rooftops.
“Seconds later, fire and explosions,” Mattingly reports.
“Federal crash investigators are only beginning to find answers, a mystery compounded by an absence of critical communication."