The pilot and copilot of an Airbus A300 cargo plane operated by UPS died Wednesday when their jet crashed on the approach to the Birmingham, Alabama, airport, authorities said.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell said that firefighters had found the bodies of the two pilots in the charred wreckage of the plane, which had taken off earlier Wednesday morning from UPS's air hub in Louisville, Kentucky.

The pilot and copilot were the only people on board the aircraft, UPS spokesman Mike Mangeot confirmed to WBRC television.

Toni Herrera Bast, the spokesperson for the Birmingham Airport Authority, told CNN that the accident occurred shortly before dawn outside the Birmingham International Airport perimeter.

Firefighters managed to put out the blaze that erupted after the crash among the debris from the plane, which was scattered in a swath extending for several hundred meters (yards). EFE