An ATR 42 cargo airplane operated by Empire Airlines for FedEx ran off the runway early this morning at Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas, after arriving on a flight from Fort Worth Alliance Airport. Both crewmembers walked away from the crash but went to the hospital for evaluation and treatment of minor injuries.
NTSB records indicate the crash happened around 5 a.m. Central Standard Time in freezing rain, when the twin turboprop landed and skidded off the runway into an embankment. The ATR’s right wing absorbed much of the impact and, according to an NTSB spokesman, the airplane became consumed by fire before rescue and firefighting crews arrived. At press time an investigator from the NTSB’s Denver office was on his way to the scene. The board expects to issue a preliminary factual report within 10 business days.