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Five dead in plane collision at Tokyo Haneda Airport

Richard A. Brooks Agence France-Presse Firefighters arrived quickly and in large numbers, but were unable to immediately control the fire which quickly consumed the entire airliner after the evacuation of all its occupants.

A Japan Airlines plane caught fire on Tuesday at Tokyo-Haneda International Airport after a ground collision with a Japanese Coast Guard plane, killing five of the six occupants.

The 367 passengers and 12 crew members of the Japan Airlines JAL516 airliner were evacuated “safe and sound”, confirmed the Japanese Minister of Transport, Tetsuo Saito, in front of journalists.

On the other hand, only the captain was able to get out of the Japanese Coast Guard Bombardier Dash 8, the minister said. This survivor is said to be seriously injured, according to public television channel NHK.

In footage taken at the airport at 5:47 p.m. local time, the Japan Airlines plane could be seen landing on the tarmac before a large explosion went off, leaving a trail of flames and smoke in its wake of the device, which stopped a little further away.

This Airbus A350 arrived from Shin-Chitose airport, near Sapporo (northern Japan). Eight children were on board, according to the Japanese press agency Kyodo, and videos posted on X (formerly Twitter) showed passengers escaping the burning cabin by sliding down inflatable escape slides.

“Smoke started filling the plane, and I thought 'this could go really bad,'” a passenger told reporters at the airport.

“An announcement said the rear and middle doors could not be opened. So everyone went out the front,” he added.

“It was hot inside the plane and I honestly thought I wouldn’t survive,” another survivor told NHK.

Domestic flights canceled at Tokyo-Haneda

The firefighters arrived quickly and in large numbers, but were unable to immediately control the fire which quickly consumed the entire airliner after the evacuation of all its occupants.

The Japanese Coast Guard aircraft was preparing to take off for the Ishikawa department (central Japan), hit on Monday by a devastating earthquake which left at least 48 dead, in order to deliver food and basic necessities. to the thousands of people affected on site, according to a coast guard official interviewed by AFP.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida paid tribute to the fallen coast guard officers. “These employees had a high sense of mission and responsibility for the disaster areas, it is very regrettable,” he said, expressing his “respect” and “gratitude” towards them.

The reason for the collision is still unknown. “We are not yet able to explain the cause” of the accident, said Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito.

Tokyo-Haneda is one of the Japanese capital's two international airports and one of the busiest in the world.

All domestic flights from Tokyo-Haneda (departures and arrivals) were canceled Tuesday evening, according to the airport website. However, most international flights were operated.

However, authorities planned to resume all flights as soon as possible due to the busy air traffic period after the New Year, according to a Transport Ministry official.

Accidents involving airliners are extremely rare in Japan. The most serious of these occurred in 1985, when a Japan Airlines plane crashed between Tokyo and Osaka, killing 520 people, one of the worst aviation disasters in the world.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116