5 Killed After Airliner Collides With Coastguard Plane, Bursts Into Flames

By Jason Hall

January 2, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

At least five people were killed during an apparent collision involving a Japan Coast Guard plane and a Japan Airlines plane that engulfed in flames on Tuesday (January 2), ABC News reports.

The five casualties were among the six passengers on board the Coast Guard aircraft -- which was set to fly to Niigata to provide relief following a deadly 7.6-magnitude earthquake -- during the accident at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's office confirmed in a social media post. The Japan Airlines flight JL516, which was traveling from Chitose, Hokkaido, was landing at the time of the apparent crash at about 5:47 p.m. local time, officials told Japanese broadcaster NHK.

All 367 passengers and 12 crew members on board the Japan Airlines flight reportedly managed to evacuate after it landed, though Japan Airlines confirmed that 11 passengers were either transported to a hospital or airport clinic for undisclosed injuries, CNN reports.

Videos shared online showed the Airbus A350-900 plane ignited, resulting in a fiery trail on the runway after landing. Guy Maestre, a French native visiting Japan from Philadelphia who was on board the Japan Airlines flight, said he heard a "big bang" during the accident.

“I was hoping everyone was going to be safe,” said Maestre, who called the fire "shocking to see," via CNN. “I was in another plane in the window seat – we were getting ready to take off and we heard a big bang.

“We looked from our windows and saw a huge trail of flames running down the runway.

“Flames got higher and higher then we saw fire trucks go by the runway.”

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