A Japan Airlines plane caught fire after apparently colliding with a smaller coastguard aircraft on the runway at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
All 379 passengers and crew on the airline were safely evacuated, but tragically, five out of the six crew members on the coastguard plane lost their lives, with the captain sustaining injuries, the BBC reported.
Japan Airlines Plane Catches Fire After Collision
The incident occurred as Japan Airlines Flight 516, arriving from Sapporo on Hokkaido Island, landed at Haneda airport. The flight departed from Sapporo’s New Chitose airport and was scheduled to arrive at 17:40 local time.
Footage showed the imposing plane smashing into the coastguard aircraft and bursting into flames. A massive ball of fire engulfed the airliner and a section of the runway. Firefighters are actively working to control the blaze. The cause of the collision remains unclear, and both the airline and coastguard are investigating the circumstances leading to the tragic event.
BREAKING: All of the 379 passengers and crew on board the Japan Airlines aircraft have been evacuated.
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According to initial reports, Japan Airlines stated that the collision occurred after its plane had landed. The coastguard aircraft, en route to Niigata airport from Haneda, was on a mission to assist with rescue and relief efforts following a recent earthquake in Ishikawa. The coastguard plane was one of four dispatched for this purpose.
Tragically, all five crew members on the coastguard plane lost their lives, while the captain sustained severe injuries. The extent of the damage to both aircraft is still being assessed.
Scary Scenes At The Airport
Videos from the scene depicted multiple fire trucks and thick smoke and flames emanating from the damaged plane. Haneda Airport promptly closed all its runways following the incident, as reported by Reuters.
The collision and subsequent fire have raised concerns about aviation safety and have prompted an urgent investigation to determine how and when the two aircraft came into contact. The incident has also led to a suspension of airport operations, affecting flights and causing inconvenience to travellers.
On social media, a video showed passengers sliding from the blazing plane through the emergency exit and fleeing to safety. A passenger on the affected Japan Airlines flight shared relief at being safe after the evacuation.
Tragic incident at Haneda airport as Japan Airlines Airbus A-350, collided a Coast Guard plane. The commercial airplane, engulfed in flames but all passengers were safely evacuated pic.twitter.com/veDMFx5FWt
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) January 2, 2024