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5 Dead After Collision, Massive Explosion at Tokyo Airport A Japan Airlines plane collided with a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Tuesday.

By Emily Rella

RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images
A Japan Airlines (JAL) passenger plane is seen on fire on the tarmac at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda on January 2, 2024. A Japan Airlines plane burst into flames on the runway of Tokyo's Haneda Airport on January 2 after apparently colliding with

A Japanese Coast Guard aircraft collided with a Japan Airlines flight on the runway on Tuesday, killing five crew members on the Coast Guard plane.

Japan Airlines Flight 516 went up in flames upon the collision around 5:45 p.m. local time at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. All 379 people on board (passengers and crew members) evacuated the plane safely. The fight took off from Chitose, Hokkaido.

The Coast Guard aircraft was waiting to take off to an airbase in Niigata to help provide relief following the tragic 7.5 magnitude earthquake that rocked the area on Monday. Five of the six Coast Guard members who were onboard that plane were pronounced dead following the explosion.

Related: JetBlue Plane Crashes Into Parked Airplane at JFK Airport

"I was in another plane in the window seat – we were getting ready to take off and we heard a big bang," passenger Guy Maestre, who was visiting Japan from Philadelphia, told CNN. "We looked from our windows and saw a huge trail of flames running down the runway."

Images and videos captured on social media show first-hand accounts of the harrowing incident.

Over 70 firetrucks responded to the fire, which ravaged for hours.

About 135 flights leaving Haneda and 137 flights set to fly into Haneda had been canceled by Tuesday morning, according to FlightAware.

Related: Plane Crashes Off Crowded Beach, Lifeguards Save Pilot

"I would like to express my respect and gratitude to the employees who performed their jobs with a strong sense of mission and responsibility, and I pray that their souls may rest in peace," Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a translated statement on social media.

Japan Airlines is cooperating with investigators to figure out who was responsible for the crash, per CNN.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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