BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A UPS cargo plane crashed Wednesday morning in an open field just outside an airport in Birmingham, Ala.

The Birmingham Mayor's Office confirmed to the NBC station in Birmingham, WVTM, that the pilot and co-pilot of the plane died in the crash.

A National Transportation Safety Board team left for Birmingham just after 6:30 a.m. PDTfrom Washington D.C. to investigate the crash. An investigator from Atlanta will join the NTSB team on the ground in Alabama.

There were no homes in the immediate area of the crash, said Toni Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority.

The Airbus A300 plane crashed around 5 a.m. CDT on approach to the airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. The plane was en route from Louisville, Ky., Bergen said.

There was no information on injuries, but UPS spokesman Jeff Wafford said there were two crew members aboard the plane.

As we work through this difficult situation, we ask for your patience, and that you keep those involved in your thoughts and prayers, Atlanta-based UPS said in a statement.

Herrera-Bast said the plane crashed in open land she described as a grassy field on the outskirts of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The crash hasn't affected airport operations, she said.

Bergen said the scene is about a half-mile north of Runway 18. At 7 a.m. Wednesday, conditions in the area were rainy with low clouds.

UPS released a statement following the crash and said they had not confirmed the status of their pilots.

This incident is very unfortunate, and our thoughts and prayers are with those involved, said UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols.

We place the utmost value on the safety of our employees, our customers and the public. We will immediately engage with the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation, and we will work exhaustively on response efforts, continued Nichols.

Previously, a UPS cargo plane crashed on Sept. 3, 2010, in the United Arab Emirates, just outside Dubai. Both pilots were killed. Authorities there blamed the crash on its load of between 80,000 to 90,000 lithium batteries, which are sensitive to temperature. Investigators found that a fire on board likely began in the cargo containing the batteries.

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