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Japan Airlines Jet On Fire After Colliding With Coast Guard Plane, Five Dead

A Japanese plane exploded upon colliding with a Coast Guard aircraft fixed wing MA722 at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), resulting in the death of 5 on a Coast Guard plane. The plane, which belonged to Japan Airlines, caught fire on the runway at the airport. According to the Japanese transport minister, Tetsuo Saito, 367 passengers on Flight-516 along with the 12 crew members were safely evacuated but 5 out of 6 of the smaller Coast Guard plane lost their lives in the tragic accident. The captain was injured.

Japan Airlines Flight-516 took off from New Chitose Airport, Hokkaido, and it was destined to reach Haneda by 5:40 p.m. But shortly after this time, at around 6:00 p.m., live footage shows that the plane was in flames and the firefighters were trying to put out the fire with the help of an Airbus A350-900. On the other hand, according to the representatives of the Coast Guard Naoko Kobayashi and Yoshinori Yanagishima, the Coast Guard aircraft destroyed in this unfortunate accident was a fixed-wing MA722, a Bombardier Dash-8, which was one of the four planes which were leaving Haneda and flying to Niigata airport. They were bound for a rescue and relief mission for the people affected in the earthquake that struck Ishikawa on Monday.

The videos of the collision shared by local TV showed that the area of the plane around the wing was on fire and smoke was seen emerging from the sides as the plane taxied on the runway. According to a passenger, smoke started to fill the plane and passengers were frightened when an announcement said that the middle and back doors were not working. Everyone started to leave the plane through the front door via an emergency chute. The videos uploaded later showed that the fire had spread to most parts of the plane, damaging it badly and that the firefighters, which arrived from Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, were trying to put out the fire with the help of water streams. According to a spokesperson, the airline is currently determining the level of damage.

In a news conference, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the Coast Guard members were en route to provide aid and supplies to the earthquake affectees. This was the same earthquake that is considered to be one of the worst to strike the country on Monday. The Prime Minister expressed his grief at the loss of innocent citizens who were sent to the disaster that struck western Japan and are victims of this sad incident. He offered his deep condolences to the families of the victims. He said that it was distressing to see what happened to those who were filled with a sense of determination to help the people affected by the earthquake. He further added that the ministries of Japan should make sure that the earthquake relief efforts should not be effected, as the earthquake has also taken 48 lives.

The cause and exact time of the accident are still unknown. According to a coast guard, to find out the why and when, an investigation was being carried out. Shigenori Hiraoka, who serves as the civil aviation bureau at the ministry of transport as their director general, also avoided sharing any details regarding the communication between Flight-516 and the air traffic control tower. An aviation analyst, Alex Macheras, told a news channel that it is difficult to know what actually happened at the accident scene. In most incidents of such a kind, the early predictions of what might have happened are quite different from the results obtained after a detailed investigation. Japan Coast Guard’s deputy director, Yoshio Seguchi, also expressed his regret about the crash.

A passenger from the flight confirmed her safety by posting on X. A spokesperson at Haneda airport said that all runways have been closed since the accident took place.

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