The plane took off from the freight section of the airport Brucargo and immediately experienced difficulties.
At the end of the runway the aircraft, a Boeing 747, snapped in two.
All the kerosene is being allowed to flow out of the aircraft.
Fire-fighters are keeping an eye on the situation because of the danger of an explosion.
The Red Cross has also been deployed. The provincial disaster plan was put into effect too.
Kalitta Air has services to Brussels several times a week.
The mayor of Zaventem Francis Vermeiren (Flemish liberal) told the VRT that the pilot heard a strange noise and then put the plane back on the ground.
It ended up near a rail line causing some disruption to traffic.
The exact cause of the crash is being investigated.
Several sources suggest that a burst tire triggered the accident.
The plane that was carrying out what is described as a "diplomatic flight" was bound for the gulf state Bahrain.
It had 76 tonnes of freight on board. Post made up half the freight.
Jan Van der Cruyssen of Brussels Airport said that there had been minor disruption of flights from the airport.
All flights are leaving, but there are some delays.
Not the first serious incident
The company founded by Conrad Kalitta is based at Willow Run Airport in Michigan and has close ties with the US armed forces.
In 1990 and 1991 during the First Gulf War the airline flew 600 support missions.
Kalitta Air experienced a first serious problem when one of its Boeings lost an engine over Lake Michigan.
Also on this occasion the crew managed to land the craft safely.