She is the most challenging plane of all civilian widebody airliners with the highest wingloading and fastest approach speeds. Not easy to land at all, even under normal conditions. The Lufti guys belong to the best trained pilots in the industry and nevertheless this happend, a sad day for the industry. Lets be thankfull that they survived.
The crew reported an in-flight fire in the lower (I think) cargo hold, and the airplane then broke apart during an otherwise-normal landing. Fire service had been informed and was awaiting the arrival.
According to the latest reports, a Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 freighter crashed this morning at 11.38 a.m. (local time) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The aircraft, coded Flight LH 8460, was on a flight to Riyadh from Frankfurt, Germany.
The plane was piloted by a two-man crew, according to initial reports. Both pilots are being treated in hospital.
On board Flight LH 8460 were 80 tonnes of freight. It is not yet known exactly what type of freight it was or which customers are affected.
The cause of the accident is still being investigated. At the moment, we have no further details. We will communicate any further information immediately. This accident might have an influence on our operation for the next few weeks. Lufthansa Cargo will do its best to operate a stable flight schedule. Updates are also available at www.lufthansa-cargo.com.
Lufthansa Cargo J. Florian Pfaff Vice President Europe & AfricaLufthansa Cargo Nils Haupt Director Communications
... Lufthansa Cargo said, that the airplane broke in two parts and caught fire. The two crew received injuries, the extent of which is not yet known.
Aviation sources in Riyadh reported, that the crew declared emergency reporting a cargo fire indication while on approach to Riyadh.
Observers on the ground said, that the airplane was already trailing smoke while on final approach.
Saudi Arabia's Civil Aviation Authority confirmed the crew arriving from Frankfurt (Germany) declared emergency reporting a cargo fire inside the aircraft while on approach and landed at 11:38L (08:38Z). An investigation is under way.