Brazilian KC-137 crashes on take-off in Haiti, none injured

Washington DC
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A Brazilian air force KC-137 crashed on 26 May with no injuries to the 141 people aboard while attempting to take-off from the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port au Prince, Haiti.

The Brazilian air force released a statement saying only that a "technical problem" caused the KC-137 to exit the runway around 15:30 Brasilia local time.

The aircraft was loaded with 131 Brazilian troops who were returning to Brazil after a six-month deployment in support of the United Nations stabilisation mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

The UN force said in a news release that the runway overrun caused the aircraft's landing gear to collapse. Other news reports in Brazil quoted local airport officials saying that one of the converted Boeing 707's four engines exploded moments after take-off, and the gear collapsed after the flight crew cut power and fuel to land the heavily-loaded aircraft on the runway.

The airport was shut down to commercial aircraft for several hours before the KC-137 was removed from the tarmac.

Brazilian air force officials have launched an investigation of the crash.

Brazil's two KC-137 tanker transports were built as airliners in the 1960s, but entered service with the Brazilian air force in 1986. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was selected two months ago by the air force to convert two Boeing 767-300ER airliners into aerial refuelling transports to replace the KC-137s.