Jan 2, 2024 - World

Passenger plane carrying hundreds bursts into flames on Tokyo runway

Japan Airlines flight engulfed in flame on Tokyo tarmac

A Japan Airlines plane on fire on a runway of Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Jan. 2, 2024. Photo: Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images

All 379 passengers and crew escaped a Japan Airlines jet that became engulfed in flames on a Tokyo runway on Tuesday after colliding with a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft.

Driving the news: The pilot of the Coast Guard aircraft safely got out of the plane but the five remaining crew members on board were killed, per AP.

  • Japan's Coast Guard said its plane, a Bombardier Dash-8, was set to provide earthquake relief to residents in Niigata, which was one of several cities affected by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that hit western Japan on Monday and killed at least 48 people across the country.

What they're saying: "They were filled with a determined sense of mission, and it is extremely regrettable and distressing what has happened to them," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday of the Coast Guard members who died, according to the New York Times.

  • "I express my profound condolences to their surviving families," he added.

The big picture: Live footage showed Japan Airlines flight JAL-516 catching fire as it skidded down the tarmac after landing at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, per Reuters.

  • NHK TV reported that all occupants got out safely before the Airbus A350 was overwhelmed, despite rescue crews' efforts to control the blaze.
Japan Airlines flight burns on Tokyo tarmac as firefighters battle the blaze.
Firefighters battle a blaze after a Japan Airlines flight and coast guard plane collided at a Tokyo airport on Jan. 2, 2024. Photo: David Mareuil/Anadolu via Getty Images
  • The passenger flight was coming from New Chitose Airport, near Sapporo in the north.

Go deeper: What we know about Japan's deadly earthquake

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