A plane bursts into flames on airport runway in Tokyo
A tragic incident unfolded at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, where a large passenger plane collided with a Japanese coast guard aircraft on the runway, resulting in a fiery explosion. The coast guard plane’s five crew members lost their lives, while the pilot managed to escape. Fortunately, all 379 passengers on Japan Airlines flight JAL-516 evacuated safely before their Airbus A350 was engulfed in flames. The coast guard aircraft, on a mission to deliver aid to an earthquake-affected area, was preparing for takeoff when the collision occurred.
Television footage captured the dramatic moment of impact, with an orange fireball erupting from the Japan Airlines plane during landing. Quick evacuation procedures ensued, with passengers and crew members sliding down emergency chutes within 20 minutes. Firefighters battled the blaze, which took about six hours to extinguish, causing severe damage to the Airbus A350, the industry’s newest large passenger plane introduced in 2015.
The incident marked the first significant damage to an Airbus A350. Airbus pledged support for the investigation, sending specialists to assist Japanese and French officials. The plane involved was delivered to Japan Airlines in late 2021, having flown from Shin Chitose airport near Sapporo.
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