Tokyo, Japan – January 2, 2024 – A Japan Airlines (JAL) passenger plane burst into flames upon landing at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Tuesday afternoon, after a possible mid-air collision with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft. The incident, which occurred at approximately 5:47 p.m. local time, sparked panic and sent emergency crews scrambling.

The JAL flight, JL516, carrying 367 passengers and 12 crew members, had departed from Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, officials told Japanese broadcaster NHK that a preliminary assessment suggests the plane collided with a Coast Guard aircraft while approaching the runway.

Fortunately, all 379 individuals aboard the JAL flight safely evacuated the plane after landing. However, tragedy struck the Coast Guard aircraft. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office confirmed that five of the six individuals on board perished in the crash.

Dramatic video footage captured the harrowing scene at Haneda Airport, with firefighters battling the blaze that engulfed the fuselage of the A350 Airbus. More than 70 firefighting vehicles were deployed to the scene, and the fire continued to burn for approximately two hours.

The cause of the incident and the extent of damage to the aircraft are still being determined. Authorities have launched a full investigation into the collision and the subsequent fire. This event has deeply shaken the aviation community and raised concerns about safety protocols in Japanese airspace.

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