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MILWAUKEE — Two cargo planes collided and burned on a taxiway at Mitchell International Airport Wednesday night, but no serious injuries were reported.
Airport director Barry Bateman said both pilots got out after the accident, and one had a minor hand injury.
The accident happened about 8 p.m. and involved planes from the same company, Freight Runners Express Inc. of Milwaukee, he said.
Bateman described the aircraft as small twin-engine planes, a Cessna 402 and Beech 99, that hauled freight from small communities into Milwaukee to be shipped via United Parcel Service Inc.
"I'm told that one (plane) had just landed and was taxiing into the cargo area," Bateman said. "A significant fireball occurred but both pilots were able to escape."
Firefighting crews put out the fires.
"The airport closed immediately, which is normal procedure," he said.
It reopened about 8:30 p.m.
Bateman said the planes were left in place at first, but the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board soon authorized moving them from the taxiway.
A woman who answered the telephone at Freight Runners said she couldn't immediately comment.
Bateman said the tape recordings from the airport tower would be saved and studied as part of the investigation, because they would provide information on communications and movement of the aircraft.
He said there was no readily apparent cause.
"There's no apparent smoking gun as to why it occurred," he said.