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C-5 Aircraft Burns at Air Force Base

November 8, 1989

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ A fire erupted aboard a C-5 cargo plane Tuesday at Kelly Air Force Base, injuring seven people, authorities said. It was the second aircraft blaze at the base since July.

One person working on the plane and four other maintenance workers were treated for minor smoke inhalation, and two firefighters were overcome by smoke, said base spokesman Gary DuPriest.

One of the firefighters was treated at Wilford Hall Medical Center and released, and the other was under observation for chest pains, said DuPriest.

The cause of the fire wasn’t known. Workers were checking the operation of control systems when the fire broke out.

The fire was brought under control in about 25 minutes, said Lt. Dave Ebner, another base spokesman.

The blaze damaged the aircraft’s upper rear fuselage. Two 60-ton jacks were put under the tail section and two jacks were placed under each wing to keep them from collapsing, Ebner said.

The C-5 is the world’s largest cargo plane. The Air Logistics Center at Kelly does maintenance and repairs on the C-5 and B-52 bomber.

Last July, a B-52 caught fire and exploded at Kelly, killing one civilian worker and injuring 11 others. Air Force officials blamed that accident on failure to remove a faulty fuel-tank vent plug during refueling.

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