Five dead on coast guard plane involved in Haneda airport collision

The passenger jet was consumed by fire after everyone on board was evacuated.

The passenger jet was consumed by fire after everyone on board was evacuated. Photo: JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty

Five crew members of a coast guard plane assisting with earthquake recovery efforts have been killed in the fiery collision at Haneda airport.

The captain of the Bombardier-built Dash-8 maritime patrol plane managed to escape after the collision with the Japan Airlines plane, which caught fire shortly after it landed about 5.47pm local time on Tuesday.

It’s believed the captain is severely injured.

The coast guard aircraft was preparing to take food to areas hit by Monday’s powerful earthquake, which has killed at least 48 people.

Japan Airlines’ Flight 516 remained alight more than two hours after the collision.

The coast guard said how and when the two aircrafts clashed was “under investigation”.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida paid tribute to those who died as they attempted to help others.

Speaking on TV, Kishida instructed agencies to swiftly assess the damage and provide information to the public.

All 379 passengers and crew of the Japan Airlines Airbus A350 were safely evacuated after it burst into flames as it skidded down the tarmac.

Footage and images shared on social media showed some of the 367 passengers shouting inside the smoke-filled cabin and running across the tarmac away from the blaze.

The actions of the crew have been widely praised in shepherding the passengers to safety.

BBC reports it was the first major accident involving an Airbus A350, which was built form carbon fibre-reinforced plastics.

A spokesperson at Japan Airlines said its aircraft had departed from Shin-Chitose airport on the northern island of Hokkaido.

Speaking on TV, Kishida instructed relevant agencies to assess the damage swiftly and provide information to the public.

Haneda has closed all runways following the incident, a spokesperson for the airport said.

-with agencies

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