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NTSB to assist with investigation of Saudi plane crash

By the CNN Wire Staff
A cellphone picture obtained from Al-Riyadh Saudi newspaper shows the plane at Riyadh's airport.
A cellphone picture obtained from Al-Riyadh Saudi newspaper shows the plane at Riyadh's airport.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The cargo plane crashed while landing at Riyadh airport
  • The NTSB is sending a team to help investigate
  • The plane was headed to Riyadh from Frankfurt, Germany
  • Two pilots were injured and were being treated at a hospital
RELATED TOPICS
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Lufthansa AG
  • Germany

(CNN) -- The United States' National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending a team to help the government of Saudi Arabia investigate the crash of a Lufthansa cargo plane in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday.

NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman is sending a senior air safety investigator, flight operations specialists, an aircraft systems specialist and technical advisers from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, according to an NTSB statement.

Lufthansa Cargo said the MD-11 plane was traveling from Frankfurt, Germany, when it crashed at 11:38 a.m. (4:38 a.m. ET). Lufthansa said a team of experts from the company was on its way to Riyadh.

The plane crashed while landing at King Khalid International Airport, the official Saudi Press Agency of Saudi Arabia reported.

A company statement said the plane caught fire and was extensively damaged, but the blaze was extinguished. The craft had been carrying 80 tons of cargo.

Lufthansa said both pilots -- who evacuated the aircraft down the emergency slide -- were injured. They were contacted by phone and were being treated in a hospital.

It was not clear what freight was on the aircraft and whether customers were affected.