Planes collide in fiery crash on runway at Tokyo airport, 5 missing

By and is republished with permission

Japan’s coast guard said five crewmembers are missing after a collision between its plane and a passenger plane at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport that led to a major fire.

Coast Guard spokesperson Yoshinori Yanagishima confirmed the collision between the coast guard aircraft MA722 and the Japan Airlines plane.

The pilot has evacuated and contacted officials, but the other five crewmembers are unaccounted-for and the condition of the aircraft is also unknown, he said.

The 379 occupants of the passenger plane are all reported to have evacuated safely before the plane was engulfed in fire.

Local TV video showed a large eruption of fire and smoke from the side of the Japan Airlines plane as it taxied on a runway. The area around the wing then caught fire.

It said the plane was JAL flight 516 had flown out of Shin Chitose airport in Japan to Haneda.

Later video showed fire crews working to put out the fire with streams of water. The flames had spread to much of the plane.

Haneda is one of the busiest airports in Japan, and many people travel over the New Year holidays.

More to come.

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