Japan Airlines plane in flames on runway at Tokyo airport

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This photo provided by Jiji Press shows a Japan Airlines plane on fire on a runway of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on January 2, 2024. A Japan Airlines plane was in flames on the runway of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on January 2 after apparently colliding with a coast guard aircraft, television reports said. (Photo by JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)

Str | Afp | Getty Images

A Japan Airlines flight carrying hundreds of passengers on Tuesday caught fire on a runway at Tokyo’s Haneda airport after colliding with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft.

Citing Tokyo police, Japanese national broadcaster NHK said five of the six crew members on the Coast Guard aircraft had been confirmed dead. The pilot, who evacuated, is reportedly severely injured.

The Coast Guard aircraft was heading to Niigata to provide relief for the recent earthquake, according to initial reports.

All 379 passengers and crew were evacuated from the Japan Airlines Airbus A350, which was seen engulfed in flames. It had departed from the northern island of Hokkaido and landed at Tokyo Haneda.

Footage posted to social media shows passengers using an emergency evacuation slide and running across the tarmac.

A spokesperson for Japan Airlines was not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC.

Japanese Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito provided an update shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tokyo time (6:30 a.m. ET) and confirmed five of the six crew of the Coast Guard aircraft had died.

Saito said the cause of the incident was still unknown, according to Reuters, and said authorities hoped to reopen Haneda airport as soon as possible.



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