Investigations have begun into the crash on takeoff of a Kalitta Air Boeing 747-200 freighter at Brussels Airport.

The 25 May accident destroyed the aircraft but all five crew members on board escaped serious injury.

The Pratt & Whitney JT9D-powered 747-200F was 28 years old and was registered as N704CK.

Kalitta 2

Yves Logghe/AP/PA Photos

It was attempting a departure from runway 20 for Bahrain with 76t of freight on board, says Brussels Airport. The 747 came to a rest off the southern end of the runway with its fuselage broken in two at the wing.

Kalitta 3

Yves Logghe/AP/PA Photos

Kalitta Air is based in Michigan and its fleet comprises 747-100/200s and Boeing 727s.

Investigations are being led by Belgian authorities. The US National Transportation Safety Board has also sent investigators to assist. It says the aircraft “crashed on takeoff after reporting a loud bang”, although it does not elaborate.