Japan Airlines aircraft catches fire at Haneda Airport; all 379 passengers, crew evacuated

Japan Airlines

TOKYO: In a shocking incident at Haneda Airport, Japan Airlines Flight 516, en route from New Chitose Airport, erupted into flames just after landing on Runway C at approximately 5:47 pm (local time) on Tuesday, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

The unfolding situation suggests a potential collision with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft, it reported.

Japan Airlines has reported that there were 367 passengers on board, including eight children, along with a crew of 12. All 379 passengers and crew members were evacuated from the aircraft safely.

The incident has prompted a massive emergency response, with at least 70 fire trucks and other vehicles dispatched by the Tokyo Fire Department to extinguish the flames, as reported by NHK.

The aircraft involved in the collision with the Japan Airlines flight is reported to be an MA722 fixed-wing aircraft belonging to Haneda Air Base. Out of the six people on board the fixed-wing plane, one person has reportedly escaped, but the safety of the remaining five remains unknown.

Video footage from cameras installed at Haneda Airport by Japan Airlines and NHK captured the horrifying moment when flames erupted from the aircraft shortly after it touched down. The incident occurred during what should have been a routine landing, as the flight was scheduled to depart from New Chitose Airport at 4 pm and land at Haneda Airport at 5:40 pm.

The government promptly set up an information liaison room at the Crisis Management Centre of the Prime Minister’s Office at 6:05 pm on Tuesday to collect and coordinate information regarding the incident. In response to the emergency, all runways at Haneda Airport were closed around 6 pm, causing significant disruptions to air traffic.

Officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism have indicated that there is information suggesting a collision between the Japan Airlines Airbus A350 from New Chitose Airport and the Japan Coast Guard aircraft near the runway. The cause of the collision is yet to be officially determined.

The disaster prevention centre at the Japan Airlines Building at Haneda Airport reported that the fire is localised on Runway C. Despite efforts to control the situation, the severity of the incident raises concerns about the safety protocols in place at one of Japan’s busiest airports, NHK reported. (ANI)

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