July 27, 2010 / 10:11 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Lufthansa cargo plane crashes at Saudi airport

* Two pilots taken to hospital for light injuries

* Accident happened upon landing

* Lufthansa Cargo says cause of crash being investigated

(Adds quotes details from scene, Lufthansa Cargo comments)

By Fahad Shedid

RIYADH, July 27 (Reuters) - A Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) cargo plane crashed at the Saudi capital’s international airport on Tuesday but there were no casualties, the airline and the kingdom’s civil aviation authority said.

“Two crew members were taken to hospital to undergo treatment for minor injuries. The firefighters have contained the fire,” said a spokesman for the General Authority of Civil Aviation.

The two pilots exited the plane using emergency escape slides, Lufthansa Cargo said in a statement. There were no other crew members on board the aircraft.

The MD-11 freighter carrying an 80-tonne load crashed at 1138 local time as it was arriving in Riyadh, Lufthansa Cargo said. The aircraft, which has been heavily damaged, was on its way from Frankfurt to Hong Kong via Riyadh and Sharjah.

Europe’s biggest cargo carrier said it was sending a team of experts to Riyadh to help investigate the cause of the crash.

An airport official told Reuters the plane veered off a runway on landing: “It did not stop until the Royal Terminal runway. Soon after smoke started to emerge, followed by a fire.”

Security cordoned off the crash site. Al Arabiya television earlier reported the cargo plane had split in half. (Additional reporting by Gulf Bureau, Maria Sheahan in Frankfurt; Writing by Souhail Karam, Editing by Jon Boyle)

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