A passenger plane collided with a military plane at Tokyo airport - ForumDaily
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Passenger plane collides with military personnel at Tokyo airport

At Tokyo's Haneda Airport on January 2, a Japan Airlines (JAL) plane collided with a coast guard aircraft. As a result of the accident, five of the six crew members of the security plane were killed, at least 17 people out of 379 passengers and crew members of the airliner were injured, reports Reuters.

Photo: IStock

Live footage from public broadcaster NHK showed the JAL Airbus A350 jetliner bursting into flames as it rolled down the runway.

“I felt a crash, like we hit something,” said one passenger. “I saw sparks outside the window and a cabin filled with gas and smoke.”

All 367 passengers and 12 crew members were evacuated from the burning airliner.

Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito confirmed that five crew members on the coast guard plane were killed and the plane's captain was injured.

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A ministry spokesman told a press briefing that the JAL plane was trying to land when it collided with a Bombardier-built Dash-8 maritime patrol aircraft on the runway.

There were no reports of engine problems or other problems on the airliner before the landing, the official said.

The Coast Guard said its plane was en route to Niigata on Japan's west coast to deliver aid to victims of a powerful earthquake that struck on New Year's Day. The earthquake killed at least 55 people.

A JAL spokesman said at a press briefing that the airline understands the flight has been cleared to land. He added that air traffic control recordings were still being investigated.

Video footage and images posted on social media showed passengers screaming in the plane's smoke-filled cabin and running along the runway after escaping through an evacuation slide.

"The crew must have done a great job... It was a miracle that all the passengers got off the plane," said Paul Hayes, director of air safety at British aviation consultancy Ascend by Cirium.

Kaoru Ishii, who was waiting at the gate for her 29-year-old daughter and her boyfriend, said she initially thought the flight had been delayed until her daughter called and explained everything.

“She said the plane caught fire and she climbed out of the plane,” Ishii said. “I was very glad that she was okay.”

A JAL spokesman said its plane took off from New Chitose Airport on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

The reasons are being clarified

Haneda, one of two main airports serving Japan's capital Tokyo, was closed for several hours after the accident, but a transport ministry official said three runways had since resumed service.

JAL's Japanese rival ANA earlier said it had canceled 110 domestic flights departing and landing at Haneda until the end of December 2.

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Transport Minister Saito said the cause of the accident was unclear and the Japan Transportation Safety Board, police and other agencies would continue to investigate.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said authorities were working to ensure the accident did not affect aid supplies to earthquake areas.

“This is a great sadness as the crew members were carrying out their duties to help those injured in the disaster area,” he said, referring to those killed on board the Coast Guard aircraft.

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