DUBAI (Reuters/AFP) - A 747-400 Boeing cargo plane operated by US courier United Parcel Service Inc crashed shortly after takeoff into a military compound near Dubais airport on Friday, killing two crew members, authorities said. US parcel delivery company UPS confirmed the crash of the plane, which was en route to Cologne, Germany. The pilot and co-pilot were found dead in the debris of the plane at the scene at the crash, the official UAE news agency WAM quoted a brief civil aviation statement as saying. A statement by UPS, the worlds largest courier service, said the plane was flying with a crew of two. I saw the plane suddenly dive down into the base and heard a huge explosion, said a nearby resident. A government source familiar with the initial crash report said the plane had taken off from Dubai International Airport at 18:40pm (1440 GMT) and was diverted to a military compound after reporting trouble. The aircraft caught fire, hit a covered parking lot, then bounced and crashed, the source said, adding that there were no injuries on the ground. The United Arab Emirates civil aviation authority said the bodies of the two crew members were recovered. Saif al-Suwaidi, general manager of civil aviation, told Dubai TV that flights had not been affected at Dubais airport, the busiest in the Middle East. The pilot reported fire and smoke in the cockpit and was instructed to return to Dubai. After failing to land at the airport, the plane disappeared from radar screens and was found later (at the crash site), Suwaidi said. Smoke was billowing from the base, a Reuters witness reported. Initially, Al-Arabiya television had reported the plane had hit a busy highway, but later reports indicated it did not hit the road. The civil aviation statement did not elaborate on the cause of the crash, but said measures were taken to contain the fire which broke out on board. Dubais state television said that technical problems had caused the crash. Earlier reports had indicated the plane had crashed in an unpopulated area, but an AFP journalist said it had come down inside a military base near Dubais Emirates Road. An Emirati official told AFP that the accident has not affected air traffic in Dubai or road transport. This incident is very unfortunate and we will do everything to find the cause, the statement quoted Bob Lekites, UPS international operations manager, as saying. Witnesses also reported seeing the plane on fire before it crashed.