Runway Chaos: Collision Unfolds
Haneda Airport. In Tokyo, a coastguard plane and a Japan Airlines (JAL) passenger jet crashed on the runway, leading to a fatal collision. Here’s the scoop on what went down:
No Clearance for Take-off
Japanese authorities spilled the beans—turns out, the coastguard aircraft wasn’t given the green light for take-off. Newly released transcripts from air traffic control confirmed that the JAL Airbus A350 got the go-ahead to land, while the coastguard’s Bombardier Dash-8 wasn’t cleared for take-off.
Mix-up in Instructions
The transcript showed that the JAL flight had the all-clear to touch down on runway 34R at Haneda. Meanwhile, the coastguard plane was directed to “taxi to holding point C5” on the airfield’s taxiway system. This spot is where aircraft hang out, waiting for the nod to enter the active runway and take off.
What Went Wrong?
The transcript contradicts what the coastguard plane’s captain, the sole survivor among six crew members, said. He claimed they had permission to access the same runway the JAL flight was landing on.
Possible Light Glitch
There’s talk about the lights at the holding point not working properly. But experts note that there are other visual markers, like painted markings, to signal where planes should stop before hitting the runway.
Evacuation and Chaos
Thankfully, all 379 passengers and crew on the JAL Airbus made it out safely after the collision. Flames engulfed the aircraft right after it landed. Passengers described feeling a jolt upon landing, seeing sparks, and the cabin quickly filling with gas and smoke.
The Scary Scene
Evacuation slides saved the day as passengers scrambled to safety amid the chaos. The inside of the aircraft was a smoky mess, as shown in footage and photos. Firefighters battled flames billowing from the Airbus on the runway.
Unfortunately, the coastguard plane was en route to aid in rescue efforts following an earthquake when the crash occurred. Tokyo police confirmed the death of five coastguard crew members, with the pilot critically injured.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed regret over the accident, highlighting the crew’s dedication to their mission. Efforts are underway to ensure the accident won’t hamper relief supply deliveries to the quake-hit area.
Injuries and Investigation
Some passengers and crew from the JAL flight suffered minor injuries, and the incident marked the first major accident involving an Airbus A350. Airbus is dispatching a team of specialists to help with the investigation in Japan.
That’s the lowdown on the tragic collision that shook up Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Authorities are piecing together the puzzle to figure out exactly what went wrong.