Japan Airlines fire: 5 dead following collision at Haneda Airport

Five crew members on the Japan coast guard aircraft have died following a collision with an A350 Japan Airlines aircraft on the runway at Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

The captain of the DHC-8 coast guard plane was the sole survivor. Of the 379 including crew members aboard the JAL 516 flight, 17 sustained injuries in the evacuation process, according to media reports.

The flight crew have since been praised for the meticulous evacuation of the passengers who only had minutes before the airliner became engulfed in flames.

Japanese authorities have since reported the coast guard aircraft was not given permission to enter the runway and was told to wait at the holding point, transcripts between air traffic and the aircraft reveal, according to a BBC report. 

Footage of the burning aircraft came to light on social media from new outlets like Nippon TV News, see below, which posted on X, formerly Twitter. It shows the A350-900 bursting into flames after it collided with the coast guard plane when it landed shortly before 6pm local time, (9am GMT), on 2 January.

4 runways closed disrupting plans for thousands of passengers but was expected to open the following day said Japan's Transport Minister, Tetsuo Saito, according to a report by the BBC.

Airbus, the maker of A350s, was said to be in discussions with Japan Airlines and would be releasing a statement soon. Meanwhile an investigation is under way.

The coastguard aircraft had been due to leave Tokyo to deliver aid to victims of the the earthquake-hit Ishikawa region in central Japan.

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