A Japan Airlines plane carrying hundreds of passengers burst into flames on landing at Tokyo’s Haneda airport after it collided with a Coast Guard aircraft involved in earthquake relief efforts. The Japan Airlines plane had 367 passengers and 12 crew. All were evacuated in time. Five of the six onboard the other plane are dead
Japan Airlines flight JL516, an Airbus A350-941, collided with a Japan Coast Guard DHC-8-315Q MPA aircraft (JA722A) on the runway at Tokyo-Haneda Airport.
JL516 was landing on runway 34R when the accident happened. The DHC-8 was on its way to transport supplies to Niigata Air Base in response to the Noto Peninsula earthquake.
Video footage shows that the nosegear of the A350 collapsed after the collision. A fire erupted and spread while the A350 was evacuated on the runway.
According to a Japan Airlines spokesperson, there were 367 passengers and 12 crew members on board JL516. All have reportedly survived the crash.
The captain of the DHC-8 Japan Coast Guard aircraft also survived.
Japan Airlines Flight 516 departed from Sapporo’s New Chitose airport at 16:00 local time (07:00 GMT) and was scheduled to land at Haneda at 17:40.
“We are currently assessing the extent of the damage,” the airline said, according to a report by public broadcaster NHK. It said the five coastguard crew had died, but this has not been confirmed.
Exactly what caused the collision remains unclear. The coastguard said an investigation was underway to establish how and at what time the two aircraft came into contact with each other.
Earlier, NHK, citing authorities, said the airliner had collided with the coastguard plane.
The coastguard aircraft was heading to Niigata airport from Haneda to help with the rescue and relief mission following Monday’s earthquake in Ishikawa. It was one of four planes on a mission to the quake site.
The runway shocker comes a day after a series of earthquakes hit Japan, claiming nearly 50 lives.