_
_
_
_

Five occupants of Japan Coast Guard plane killed after collision with commercial aircraft in Tokyo

The 367 passengers and 12 crew on the Japan Airlines Airbus A350 were safely evacuated before the aircraft was engulfed in flames after crashing into the emergency services flight

Avión Japón Haneda
Japan Airlines Flight JA516 on fire Tuesday on the runway at Tokyo's Haneda airport.CNN News

A Japan Airlines commercial airliner and a Japanese Coast Guard plane collided Tuesday on the runway of Tokyo’s Haneda airport. All 367 passengers (including eight children) and 12 crew members on the Japan Airlines flight were evacuated after the accident and are out of danger, but five of the six people on board the Coast Guard aircraft died, according to public broadcaster NHK. The Coast Guard flight was on its way to a base in Niigata prefecture with supplies to help the area affected by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck central Japan on January 1. Only the commander of the aircraft was able to escape.

A spokesman for Japan Airlines said that the flight was coming from New Chitose Airport, on the island of Hokkaido. The accident took place at around 5:50 p.m. local time, about 10 minutes after flight JA516 landed at Haneda, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard aircraft was taxiing on the runway before starting takeoff maneuvers when it collided with the commercial airliner, reported the Kyodo news agency. The airport’s four runways have been closed since 6:00 p.m. local time and some flights have been diverted to Narita airport, in Chiba prefecture. Japan Airlines said it is “assessing the extent of the damage,” according to the Japan Times.

Accidente de avion en Japon
Japan Airlines flight JA516 on fire at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, January 2, 2024. ISSEI KATO (REUTERS)

The Japanese Ministry of Transportation explained that the passengers escaped from the burning plane via the emergency ramps, before the Airbus A350 was engulfed in flames. One of them told the Kyodo news agency: “I felt a bang, as if the plane hit something as it touched down. I saw a spark through the window and then the cabin was filled with gas and smoke.”

The crash comes just 24 hours after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck central Japan. The tremor, which was felt along much of the country’s west coast, has caused extensive structural damage and fires, forcing the authorities to activate a tsunami warning that was lifted Tuesday morning. At least 48 people have died in Ishikawa prefecture, where the epicenter of the quake was located, and emergency crews continue to work to locate survivors. The Japan Meteorological Agency estimated that there were more than 140 aftershocks and warned that there could be more in the coming days.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition

More information

Archived In

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
_
_