Tragedy Strikes: Horror unfolds as 2 planes collide on runway at airport

In this image made from video, a Japan Airlines plane is on fire on the runway of Haneda airport on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan. (NTV via AP)

Miraculous Escape: Passengers and crew survive fiery collision at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport

In a harrowing incident at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, all 379 passengers and crew on board a Japan Airlines (JAL) plane miraculously survived a fiery collision with a Coast Guard aircraft. Unfortunately, five out of the six crew members aboard the Coast Guard plane lost their lives. The collision occurred on Tuesday, just days after a powerful earthquake struck Japan’s west coast, leaving a trail of devastation and claiming the lives of at least 48 people.

The ill-fated incident unfolded when the Coast Guard plane, en route to Niigata airport to deliver aid to those affected by the recent earthquake, collided with the JAL Airbus A350 during landing. Witnesses described feeling a tremendous impact and a sudden jerk as the plane touched down. Panic ensued as passengers reported seeing sparks outside their windows and the cabin quickly filling with gas and smoke.

Live footage captured the chilling sight of the JAL aircraft engulfed in flames, skidding along the tarmac. Despite the valiant efforts of rescue crews, the fire raged uncontrollably, eventually consuming the plane. However, the swift and coordinated evacuation ensured the safe escape of all 367 passengers and 12 crew members on board.

Tragically, the Coast Guard plane’s crew was not as fortunate. Five members lost their lives in the collision, while the captain sustained injuries. The Tokyo fire department reported that at least 17 individuals evacuated from the passenger plane suffered injuries.

Recordings from air traffic control revealed the immediate closure of Haneda airport following the incident, with controllers instructing pilots accordingly. Disturbing footage shared on social media showcased passengers shouting amidst the smoke-filled cabin, desperately fleeing across the tarmac via evacuation slides.

Japan Airlines confirmed that the ill-fated flight originated from New Chitose airport in Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promptly directed relevant agencies to assess the damage and swiftly disseminate information to the public.

Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito acknowledged that the cause of the collision remained unclear. The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB), along with the police and other investigative bodies, will diligently probe the incident. Initial findings indicated that the collision occurred shortly after the JAL plane had landed.

With Haneda airport temporarily closed, efforts were underway to resume operations as soon as possible. However, the runway shutdown led to the cancellation of 112 domestic flights by JAL’s rival, All Nippon Airways (ANA).

Outside the arrival gate, Kaoru Ishii anxiously awaited her daughter and her boyfriend, both passengers on the ill-fated flight. Initially believing that the plane was merely delayed, Ishii’s relief was palpable when her daughter called to assure her of their safety. Recounting the ordeal, her daughter described the plane catching fire and their subsequent evacuation via an emergency slide.

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