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    FedEx cargo plane makes emergency landing at TIA

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published August 11, 2002

    A FedEx cargo plane made an emergency landing early Saturday at Tampa International Airport, forcing closure of the main runway for most of the day.

    No one was injured.

    Airline traffic was diverted to another runway, and delays were minor, said TIA spokeswoman Brenda Geoghagan.

    "We're lucky it's not a holiday weekend," she said.

    The crew of the DC-10 from Memphis told the airport at 5:42 a.m. that it was having problems with its landing gear, Geoghagan said. It landed at 6:05 a.m. The pilot cut the engines and locked up the brakes, blowing out all eight tires and leaving skid marks for 1,400 feet.

    A fire on the plane was put out in minutes. Everyone aboard, three crew members and another FedEx employee, were evacuated safely.

    The cargo was not damaged. Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Bill Wade said the cargo included a hazardous materials container holding low-level radioactive material and flammable liquid.

    The plane could not immediately be removed from the runway because FedEx had to ship new tires from Orlando and Memphis so the plane could be towed, Geoghagan said.

    The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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