NRC: Plane carrying radioactive materials crashed in July

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   A Federal Express Boeing 727 cargo plane carrying radioactive materials crash-landed short of the runway at the Tallahassee, Fla., airport in July while attempting to land under foggy weather conditions, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
   The plane, which was en route from Memphis to Florida, was carrying four packages of unspecified radioactive materials initially believed to have been consumed by a fire which resulted after Flight 1478 crash-landed at 5:43 a.m. EDT on July 26. The crew survived the crash.
   According to a report published Thursday by the NRC, the event was not to be disclosed to the public until July 31, at the request of the agreement state.
   In the updated report, the NRC said representatives from Florida Bureau of Radiation Control and the U.S. Department of Transportation, who responded to the scene, have determined that the radioactive materials were carried behind the cockpit on the right side of the airplane, which was left intact during the crash.
   The state reported that though the radioactive material packages were damaged, all of the material was recovered and removed from the crash site. There was no contamination of personnel or residual contamination at the site, according to the NRC.
   The plane was en route from Memphis to Florida at the time of the crash.