A Japan Airlines aircraft carrying 367 passengers from Shin-Chitose airport in Hokkaido to Haneda reportedly collided with a Japan Coast Guard plane delivering aid for earthquake victims. The incident unfolded during the landing at Haneda International Airport, leading to a catastrophic fire that engulfed the Japan Airlines plane.
The spokesperson for Japan Airlines confirmed that the incident involved flight JAL 516, which had 367 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The collision occurred as the aircraft was attempting to land, resulting in a fiery spectacle on the runway.
Tragically, five out of six Japan Coast Guard crew members on the aid-delivering aircraft have been declared dead. The Coast Guard plane, identified as MA722, was en route to Niigata airport to provide assistance to the quake-hit Noto Peninsula in the northern part of the country. The crew members were on a mission to aid those affected by the recent New Year’s Day earthquake, which has claimed at least 48 lives.
Live footage broadcasted on public broadcaster NHK captured the Japan Airlines Airbus A350 aircraft bursting into flames as it skidded down the tarmac around 6 p.m. local time (0900 GMT). Despite the fervent efforts of rescue crews, the flames overwhelmed the aircraft.
The Metropolitan Police Department has confirmed the tragic news that all five crew members on the Coast Guard plane have lost their lives, while the pilot is in a serious condition. The collision has raised serious concerns about aviation safety and has prompted authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Despite the intensity of the fire, all 379 passengers, including eight children, and the remaining 12 crew members managed to escape unscathed. Terrifying images shared on social media depict passengers shouting within the smoke-filled cabin and fleeing across the tarmac, utilizing evacuation slides to reach safety.
As the investigation unfolds, the focus now shifts to understanding the sequence of events that led to this tragic collision and fire, raising questions about air traffic control, communication protocols, and the safety measures in place to prevent such catastrophic incidents. The aviation community and the public await further updates as authorities work to piece together the details of this heart-wrenching event.
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