At Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Tuesday, a Japan Airlines plane with 367 passengers and 12 crew members collided with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft. The crash resulted in a fierce fire, engulfing both planes.
Quick action led to the successful evacuation of all 379 people on the Japan Airlines flight. NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, aired footage showing the moment of the crash, which occurred as the Japan Airlines plane was moving on the runway.
The collision caused immediate explosions in both aircraft. According to NHK and Kyodo News, five crew members of the Coast Guard plane lost their lives in the crash. The pilot, who survived, is in serious condition in the hospital.
The Coast Guard aircraft was set to fly to Niigata military base on the west coast to aid cities affected by Monday’s 7.6 magnitude earthquake, which killed 48 people. The earthquake led to around 50 aftershocks in western Japan and triggered tsunami warnings of up to 5 meters. These warnings were lifted on Tuesday morning.
The Japan Airlines aircraft was a commercial flight headed to Hokkaido in northern Japan. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is gathering information to understand what caused the crash.
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