TOKYO ? (UPDATE) A FedEx cargo plane en route from China crashed in high winds and exploded in a ball of flames Monday at Tokyo's Narita airport, killing both pilots, according to hospital officials.
The pair, said to be US citizens, were reportedly the only two people aboard the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, which was flying in from Guangzhou in southern China.
Television footage showed the three-engine wide-body airplane tip sideways shortly after touch-down in strong winds and then, as one of its wings clipped the ground at high speed, burst into a fireball.
"We confirm the deaths of the two pilots," Katsuji Komiyama, an official at Narita Red Cross hospital told AFP.
Fire engines and scores of fire-fighters in silver suits rushed to the crash site and doused the fire with foam as the gutted aircraft lay upside down billowing black smoke.
The crash, which happened at about 6:50 a.m. (2150 GMT Sunday), closed down one of Narita's two runways, airport officials said.
The two pilots were reported to be US citizens by public broadcaster NHK.