Plane engulfed in flames at Japan airport after collision kills 5

A passenger on the Japan Airlines plane told Swedish media that “the entire cabin was filled with smoke within a few minutes.”

Swede Anton Deibe, 17, told newspaper Aftonbladet: “We threw ourselves down on the floor. Then the emergency doors were opened and we threw ourselves at them.”

“The smoke in the cabin stung like hell. It was a hell. We have no idea where we are going so we just run out into the field. It was chaos,” added Deibe, who was traveling with his parents and sister.

NHK reported the plane was JAL Flight 516, which had taken off from New Chitose Airport in the northern Japanese region of Hokkaido at 4:15 p.m. local time (2:15 a.m. ET), according to FlightAware.

Japan Airlines said it was in the process of interviewing the crew.

“The plane entered the runway in a normal manner and started normal landing procedure before there was impact and caused this accident. we have confirmed up to this point. but anything beyond that, the investigation is ongoing,” Managing Executive Officer Tadayuki Tsutsumi told a news conference.

All runaways at the airport were closed shortly after the incident, said NHK citing the Japan Airport Terminal, which manages the airport’s domestic terminal. The airport appeared to resume operations hours later, according to Flight Aware. A plane heading to San Francisco took off at 11 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET), the site showed.

Yoshio Seguchi, an official from the coast guard, expressed his condolences to everyone affected by the accident.

“The loss of the life of our irreplaceable employee is a matter of the utmost regret,” he said in a presser. “May the souls of those who lost their lives rest in peace, and extend I my deepest condolences to the bereaved family.”

Haneda Airport, also known as Tokyo International Airport, was the busiest airport in the Asia Pacific region in 2023, according to global flight data provider OAG.

Arata Yamamoto reported from Tokyo, and Larissa Gao from Hong Kong.


Leave a Comment