More than 300 passengers miraculously survived a harrowing incident when a Japan Airlines plane caught fire at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. The catastrophe unfolded after a potential midair collision with a Coast Guard jet that was on its way to deliver aid to victims of a recent earthquake.
The alarming scene was captured in horrifying video footage as the Japan Airlines aircraft, carrying nearly 400 people, burst into flames upon landing. The fireball engulfed the runway, but despite the intense blaze, all 379 passengers managed to evacuate, although at least 17 sustained injuries. Tragically, five crew members on the Coast Guard plane lost their lives, and the captain sustained critical injuries.
Witnesses described the chaotic moments inside the cabin as smoke quickly filled the air. A Swedish passenger, Anton Deibe, recalled the terrifying experience, stating, “The entire cabin was filled with smoke within a few minutes.” Passengers, including Deibe and his family, had to quickly react as emergency doors were opened for evacuation.
Footage shared on social media depicted passengers shouting amid the smoke-filled cabin and fleeing across the tarmac using evacuation slides. Reports suggested a possible midair collision between the Japan Airlines plane and the Coast Guard aircraft, leading to the subsequent fire.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida directed relevant agencies to collaborate in assessing the damage caused by the incident. In response to the emergency, Haneda International Airport closed all runways, impacting its operations. The Coast Guard aircraft, en route to Niigata Airport to deliver aid for earthquake victims, faced a tragic turn of events in the aftermath of the New Year’s Day seismic activity that claimed at least 48 lives.