OAN’s Brooke Mallory
1:54 PM – Tuesday, January 2, 2024
A Japan Airlines aircraft caught fire as it touched down at Haneda Airport on Tuesday.
According to authorities who made the early assessment and spoke to Japanese broadcaster NHK, the flight, JL516, which was leaving from Chitose, Hokkaido, reportedly collided with a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft as it was landing.
The plane touched down at around 5:47 p.m. local time.
There were 12 crew members in addition to 367 passengers on board when the larger aircraft landed, NHK stated. Meanwhile, Japan Airlines announced that there were fourteen injuries after the incident occurred, although “none of them looked to be life-threatening.”
Authorities also stated that there were at least five fatalities on board the smaller Coast Guard aircraft. Officials who spoke with NHK said that there were six passengers altogether on the Coast Guard plane and that the craft was being utilized to provide aid and additional resources to residents in Niigata, Japan, who are struggling from the recent earthquakes.
The Coast Guard aircraft was identified as JA722A by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office, which also announced via social media that five of the six people on board had died.
As part of their investigation into communications between the aircraft and the airport control center, Japan Airlines Managing Executive Officer Noriyuki Aoki informed reporters that they are “checking whether permission for landing was given by the airport control center.”
“I was wondering what happened, and then I felt the airplane tilted to the side at the runway and felt a big bump,” said 59-year-old Satoshi Yamake, a telecommunications company worker on board. “The flight attendants told us to stay calm and instructed us to get off the plane.”
Firefighters were shown battling flames that consumed the fuselage of the airplane in live footage from the airport, an international gateway on the outskirts of Tokyo.
As the fire blazed on, more than 70 fire trucks arrived at the runway. Two hours after the landing, the fire was still raging.
The aircraft, according to flight tracker FlightAware, was an Airbus A350.
The incident’s cause is unknown, according to Transport Minister Saito. However, investigations by the police, Japan Transport Safety Board, and other agencies will continue on.
The two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines that powered the aircraft were made in Britain, and officials from France, where the aircraft was built, will be participating in the investigation that the JTSB air accident bureau initiated.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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