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Cargo plane crashes outside Dubai

A UPS cargo plane with two crew members on board has crashed outside Dubai shortly after take-off.

The state news agency WAM, quoting the General Civil Aviation Authority, reported that the "bodies of two pilots" had been found at the scene, but UPS did not confirm that.

The plane went down inside an Emirati air base near a busy highway junction about 10 miles south east of Dubai's international airport.

WAM said the crash happened in an unpopulated desert area, suggesting there may not have been casualties on the ground.

Smoke rose from the crash site, which was shielded from the highway by walls. Migrant labourers from a nearby camp gathered along the roadside to watch.

UPS spokeswoman Kristen Petrella said the Boeing 747-400 went down at about 8pm on Friday. Flight 6, en route to the UPS hub in Cologne, Germany, was carrying two crew members, she said.

"This incident is very unfortunate and we will do everything we can to find the cause," UPS's airline and international operations manager Bob Lekites, said. "Our thoughts go out to the crew members involved in the incident and their families."

A Dubai-based spokesman for the General Civil Aviation Authority, Ismail al-Baroushi, said an investigation was under way, but it was "too early to speculate" on the cause of the crash.

A witness, who refused to give his name, said he was sitting on the balcony of his home when he heard a "big boom". "There was fire and too much smoke," he said.

In October 2009 a Sudanese Boeing 707 cargo plane crashed in the desert outside Dubai after taking off from Sharjah airport north of Dubai, killing six crew members. Emirati regulators have banned the plane's Sudanese owner, Azza Transport, from operating in the country.

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