Mayor Bell and Chief Roper talk about UPS plane crash

(WIAT-CBS42, Sebastian Posey)

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BIMRINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper were on the scene of a plane crash involving a UPS Airbus A300-600 early Wednesday morning.

Mayor Bell confirmed that the two pilots aboard the plane died in the crash.

Police set up a wide perimeter in the area surrounding the crash site, and Chief Roper said the department had previously undergone a drill for a scenario “eerily similar to what occurred [Wednesday.]”

“Based on that [drill] and those lessons learned, we were really able to have the proper response and really touch every base regarding the proper protocols,” Chief Roper said. “I’m proud of the way our people responded, but it’s an unfortunate incident with the loss of two lives.”

Both Mayor Bell and Chief Roper surveyed the scene and were close to the crash site as the plane was in flames.

PHOTOS: Plane crash in Birmingham

“Horrific. Even now when you look at that plane, the parts and the debris field, it’s really tough,” Chief Roper said of the crash scene. “You think about those families of the pilots that were involved, and so our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with them.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has a team en route to Birmingham to begin an investigation into the crash.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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