Japan: Plane catches fire at Tokyo's Haneda airport, 379 people evacuated

Tuesday, 2 January 2024 (16:42 IST)
A Japan Airlines plane caught fire on the runway at Haneda airport in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, on Tuesday, after reportedly colliding with Coast Guard aircraft.
The passenger plane was identified by a Japan Airlines spokesperson as flight 516, traveling from Shin-Chitose airport in Hokkaido to Haneda.
Haneda is one of Japan's busiest airports.
Japan Airlines said all 379 people on board the burning aircraft, both passengers and crew members, were safely evacuated.
Video footage broadcast live on public broadcaster NHK showed fire crews working to put out the blaze.
What do we know about the cause of the fire?
The Japanese Coast Guard said it was investigating the cause of the incident, suggesting the possibility that one of its own aircrafts collided with the passenger jet.
"It's not clear if there was a collision. But it is certain that our plane is involved," a Coast Guard official told the French AFP news agency. 
Meanwhile, NHK reported that five people who were on board the Japan Coast Guard plane thought to have collided with the passenger jet were unaccounted for.
The Coast Guard later said its plane had been headed to Niigata airport on Japan's west coast to deliver aid to those caught up in the powerful New Year's day earthquake which has killed nearly 50 people.

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