In a devastating incident at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, a Japan Airlines plane erupted in flames following a collision with a smaller coastguard aircraft on the runway. The heart-wrenching event unfolded just moments after the plane touched down, leaving a trail of sorrow and grief.
All 379 passengers and crew on board the Japan Airlines flight were successfully evacuated, but the collision claimed the lives of five out of the six crew members on the coastguard plane, with the captain sustaining severe injuries.
The distressing scene was captured on footage, revealing flames engulfing the airliner and the runway ablaze. Firefighters are bravely battling the inferno, attempting to bring the raging flames under control.
Japan Airlines Flight 516, en route from Sapporo’s New Chitose airport, was scheduled to land at Haneda airport at 17:40 local time. The aftermath of the incident has left the aviation community and the public in shock and disbelief.
“We are currently assessing the extent of the damage,” the airline somberly stated, as the nation grapples with the tragic turn of events.
Details surrounding the cause of the collision remain unclear, prompting an investigation by the coastguard to determine the circumstances and timing of the unfortunate encounter between the two aircraft.
The coastguard aircraft was on its way to Niigata airport from Haneda to assist with the rescue and relief efforts following Monday’s earthquake in Ishikawa. Tragically, it was one of four planes involved in the mission to the quake site.
TV footage broadcasted scenes of multiple fire trucks at the scene, tirelessly working against billowing smoke and intense flames. Haneda airport, deeply affected by the incident, made the difficult decision to close all its runways as a consequence of the tragedy.
One witness, who was on board the ill-fated flight, shared a haunting image of a vast crowd observing the unfolding scene. “I was on board. I’m safe. Thank goodness,” she wrote on social media, a small glimmer of relief in the midst of an overwhelming tragedy.
As the investigation unfolds, the aviation community mourns the lives lost in this unforeseen disaster. The profound sadness and shock cast a heavy pall over Tokyo’s Haneda airport, reminding us all of the fragility of life and the unpredictability that can accompany even routine air travel. Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragic event, and we stand together in solidarity during this difficult time.