February 28, 2024

By FOSTER KLUG and MARI YAMAGUCHI (Related Press)

TOKYO (AP) — A big passenger aircraft and a Japanese coast guard plane collided on the runway at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Tuesday and burst into flames, killing 5 individuals aboard the coast guard aircraft, officers mentioned.

All 379 individuals on Japan Airways flight JAL-516 obtained out safely earlier than the Airbus A350 was absolutely engulfed in flames, Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito confirmed.

The pilot of the coast guard’s Bombardier Sprint-8 aircraft escaped however the 5 crew members died, Saito mentioned. The plane was getting ready to take off to ship help to an space affected by a serious earthquake on Monday, officers mentioned.

Tv footage confirmed an orange fireball erupting from the Japan Airways aircraft because it collided with the coast guard plane whereas touchdown, and the airliner then spewed smoke from its facet because it continued down the runway. Inside 20 minutes, all passengers and crew members slid down emergency chutes to get away.

As firefighters tried to place out the blaze with streams of water, the realm across the aircraft’s wing caught fireplace. The flames unfold all through the aircraft, which finally collapsed. The hearth was put out about six hours later.

Tuesday’s accident was the primary time that an Airbus A350, among the many business’s latest massive passenger planes, was severely broken. It entered industrial service in 2015. Airbus in an announcement mentioned it was sending specialists to assist Japanese and French authorities and that the aircraft was delivered to Japan Airways in late 2021.

The A350 had flown from Shin Chitose airport close to the town of Sapporo, the transport minister mentioned.

JAL Managing Govt Officer Tadayuki Tsutsumi advised a information convention late Tuesday that the A350 was making a “regular entry and touchdown” on the runway, with out specifying the way it collided with the coast guard aircraft. Noriyuki Aoki, additionally a managing govt officer at JAL, mentioned that the airline’s understanding is that the JAL flight had obtained permission to land from aviation management officers.

Police are anticipated to research the accident on suspicion {of professional} negligence, NHK tv reported.

Coast guard spokesperson Yoshinori Yanagishima mentioned its Bombardier Sprint-8 aircraft, which is predicated at Haneda, had been because of head to Niigata to ship aid items to residents affected by a lethal earthquake within the area on Monday. The turboprop Sprint-8 is extensively used on short-haul and commuter flights.

The coast guard pilot reported to his base that his plane exploded after colliding with the industrial aircraft, Vice Commander Yoshio Seguchi advised reporters.

Shigenori Hiraoka, head of the Transport Ministry Civil Aviation Bureau, mentioned the collision occurred when the JAL aircraft landed on one in every of Haneda’s 4 runways the place the coast guard plane was getting ready to take off. Transport security officers have been analyzing communication between aviation management officers and the 2 plane and deliberate to interview JAL officers to find out what led to the collision.

Hiraoka praised JAL for “taking applicable procedures” to soundly evacuate all passengers and crew members.

Swede Anton Deibe, 17, a passenger on the Japan Airways aircraft, advised Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that “the whole cabin was crammed with smoke inside a couple of minutes. We threw ourselves down on the ground. Then the emergency doorways have been opened and we threw ourselves at them.

“The smoke within the cabin stung like hell. It was a hell. We don’t know the place we’re going so we simply run out into the sector. It was chaos,” Deibe added.

One other passenger advised NHK tv that cabin attendants have been calm and advised everybody to depart their baggage behind, then all lights went off and the temperature contained in the cabin began rising. The passenger mentioned she was afraid she won’t get off the aircraft alive.

All passengers and crew members slid down the escape chutes inside 20 minutes from the touchdown and survived. Some passengers advised media interviews that they felt relieved solely after reaching a grassy space past the tarmac.

JAL mentioned 4 passengers have been taken to a medical facility, and that the airline is checking for accidents. NHK mentioned 14 different individuals have been injured.

The transport minister mentioned officers have been doing their utmost to stop any delays within the supply of aid items and different operations for the disaster-hit area. Transport officers mentioned the airport’s three different runways had reopened.

Haneda is the busier of two main airports serving the Japanese capital, with many worldwide and transcontinental flights. It’s significantly favored by enterprise vacationers because of its proximity to central elements of the town.

The dual-engine, twin-aisle A350 is utilized by plenty of long-haul worldwide carriers. Greater than 570 of the plane are in operation, in line with Airbus.

JAL operates 16 of the A350-900 model plane, in line with its web site. It lately introduced particulars of 13 of the newer A350-1000 variant it plans to deliver into service, saying it would turn out to be “the airline’s new flagship for worldwide service after almost 20 years.” The primary of these planes arrived a number of weeks in the past, slated for the Haneda-New York JFK route.

The Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation commerce group mentioned on the X social media platform that its ideas have been with these aboard the 2 plane, saying that “the final two days have been troublesome for Japan.”

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Yamaguchi reported from Kyoto, Japan. Adam Schreck in Osaka, Japan, and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.