FedEx jet crashes at airport; crew escapes serious injury

Saturday, July 27, 2002

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A FedEx Boeing 727 cargo jet crashed and burned short of the runway Friday at the Tallahassee airport, but the three-member crew escaped serious injury.

The plane was carrying the paperwork of several candidates who were rushing to meet a noon filing deadline to run for office in Florida. After the crash, Gov. Jeb Bush signed an executive order setting a new deadline for those candidates of 5 p.m. Saturday.

The three-engine jet from Memphis, Tenn., went down a half-mile short of the runway before daybreak, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen. The three crew members were listed in fair condition at a hospital.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. The National Transportation Safety Board and a FedEx team were investigating.

State Elections Director Clay Roberts said he had spoken to seven candidates, primarily running in legislative races, who said FedEx told them their paperwork was probably on the plane.

Several other candidates who had meant to fly to Tallahassee on Friday morning chartered planes at the last minute after their flights were canceled, and arrived at the elections office just in time to file.

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