Airliner with 379 People Aboard Erupts in Flames After Colliding with Military Plane

Airliner with 379 People Aboard Erupts in Flames After Colliding with Military Plane

A Japan Airlines A350 burst into flames after colliding with a coast guard aircraft on a runway at Tokyo’s Haneda airport Tuesday, but all 379 people on the passenger plane escaped with their lives.

Five of the six crew members on the coast guard plane died, and 17 Japan Airlines passengers were injured, according to Reuters.

The coast guard aircraft had been on its way to the west coast of the island nation to assist in aid efforts after a powerful earthquake rocked that region Monday, the coast guard told Reuters.

“A transport ministry official told a press briefing the JAL plane was attempting to land normally when it collided with the coast guard’s Bombardier-built Dash-8 maritime patrol plane on the runway,” Reuters reported.

One aviation safety expert called the lack of civilian fatalities a “miracle.”

“The cabin crew must have done an excellent job. There don’t seem to be any carry-ons. It was a miracle that all the passengers got off,” Paul Hayes, director of air safety at UK-based aviation consultancy Ascend by Cirium, told Reuters.

“I felt a boom like we had hit something and jerked upward the moment we landed,” one passenger on the Japan Airlines flight told the Kyodo news agency, according to Reuters.

“I saw sparks outside the window and the cabin filled with gas and smoke,” the passenger added.

“This is a great regret as the crew members performed their duties with a strong sense of mission and responsibility for the victims of the disaster area,” Japan’s Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito told Reuters regarding the coast guard members killed.

He added that officials were working to make sure that aid continued to flow to the area affected by the earthquake, despite the fact that the Haneda airport closed for several hours following the collision.

All three of the airport’s runways were later reported open, and investigators continued to look into the cause of the collision.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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