5 Dead in Japan Airlines Plane Collision at Tokyo Haneda Airport

  • A Japan Airlines Airbus A350 collided with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft on a runway at Haneda airport in Tokyo, catching fire. Five crew members on the Coast Guard plane died, while the surviving pilot was severely injured.
  • The 367 passengers and 12 crew on the JAL flight all evacuated safely via emergency slides, though 11 passengers were hospitalized.
  • The incident prompted the airport to shut down runways, but three reopened after emergency workers contained the fire.
  • An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause, with Airbus pledging technical assistance. Airbus and others expressed condolences for the five Coast Guard crew killed in the “unfortunate event.”

January 2, 2024, Tokyo, Japan – Tokyo’s bustling Haneda airport witnessed a calamitous turn of events on Tuesday when a Japan Airlines flight collided with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft resulting in a fatal incident. The airplane, an Airbus A350 belonging to Japan Airlines, was on the tarmac when the unfortunate incident occurred.

The Incident Unfolds

The airplane, with hundreds of passengers on board, caught fire on one of the runways, following the collision. The information was confirmed by Tokyo Police and broadcasted by NHK, the national broadcaster of Japan. They reported that five out of six crew members aboard the Coast Guard plane lost their lives in this tragic incident. The surviving member being the pilot, who managed to evacuate albeit with severe injuries.

The Coast Guard plane was on a mission of mercy, heading towards Niigata, to provide assistance after the recent earthquake that struck the region.

The Evacuation

Speaking about the incident, a representative from Japan Airlines reported that all 367 passengers and 12 JAL crew members on board their aircraft evacuated safely, despite the plane being enveloped by flames. Flight JL516 had left the northern island of Hokkaido, touching down at Haneda airport at 5:47 p.m. local time (3:47 a.m. ET).

The gravity of the situation was captured in videos shared on social media, showing passengers making a swift exit via emergency slides and sprinting across the tarmac to safety.

Medical Attention and Airport Shutdown

Japan Airlines confirmed that 11 of their passengers were transported to either a hospital or an airport clinic due to health concerns, though no additional information was provided regarding their condition.

The incident prompted the closure of all runways at Haneda, Asia-Pacific’s busiest airport in 2020, according to data from flight provider OAG. These precautionary measures allowed emergency workers to tackle the blaze effectively.

Below are posts on X (Twitter) social media featuring the incident that just transpired:

Recovery and Investigation

An official from the transport ministry later announced that three runways had resumed operation. The update was confirmed by Reuters. Tetsuo Saito, Japanese Transport Minister, addressed the situation shortly after 8:30 p.m., Tokyo time. The minister acknowledged the death of the five crew members on the Coast Guard plane and stated that the cause of the incident is still being determined.

Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer of the Japan Airlines plane, has pledged to assist in the ongoing investigation. They will be sending a team of specialists to provide technical assistance to French and Japanese authorities.

Video: A350 Japan Airlines Collision in Haneda Airport

Here’s a video report showcasing the said incident and its aftermath.

Words of Sympathy

Airbus issued a statement expressing their condolences, saying, “Our concerns and sympathy go to the families, friends and loved ones affected by the accident.” As the investigation into this tragic incident continues, the thoughts of the aviation world are with those affected by this unfortunate event.