A large UPS cargo plane has crashed en route to an airport in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported that Flight 1354, an Airbus A300, was flying from Louisville, Kentucky to Birmingham when it crashed and exploded.

Birmingham mayor William Bell confirmed the pilot and co-pilot were both killed in the crash.

The plane is believed to have landed in an open field near Lake Boulevard.

Local media reported that the plane was on fire and that debris from the crash had been strewn over a half-mile radius.

UPS said they have been "notified of an incident involving one of our aircraft near Birmingham" via their official Twitter account.

The company added: "At this time, we are still determining the details of the incident. We will release more information as it becomes available. As we work through this difficult situation, we ask for your patience, and that you keep those involved in your thoughts and prayers."

Toni Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, says the plane crashed on the outskirts of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport but the crash hasn't affected airport operations.

It is believed only the pilot and co-pilot were on board the plane.