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.
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.
"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.
This is horrible!— Berlin (@Toxicity_______) January 2, 2024
Japan Airlines plane exploding on landing Imagine what would have been the condition of the people sitting inside the plane.#JapanAirlines #Tokyo #Tsunami#JapanEarthquake #earthquake pic.twitter.com/3tO0CekINX
Unbelievable scenes at Tokyo Haneda Airport as a Japan Airlines plane catches fire Thoughts are with the passengers and crew#JapanAirlines #เบียร์thevoice #Airplanecrash #JapanAirlines #Japan #JapanEarthquake #JapanTsunami #japanearthquake2024 #JapanTsunami #JapanQuake #Tokyo pic.twitter.com/yA8jGFZqE4— Mahi Chowdhry (@Mahichowdhry07) January 2, 2024
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.
"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.