Japan Airlines says flight crew ‘acknowledged and repeated’ permission to land ahead of crash


(TOKYO) — At least 14 passengers requested medical consultations after a Japan Airlines passenger plane caught fire on a runway in Tokyo, the airline said Wednesday.

One person had bruising and 13 others requested consultations “due to physical discomfort,” the airline said in a press statement.

All 367 passengers and 12 crew members were evacuated after a plane struck a Japan Coast Guard aircraft while landing at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Eight infants were on board the Airbus A350.

The airline in a statement on Tuesday detailed the moments before and during the landing, saying the three crew members had been given permission to land.

“According to interviews with the operating crew, they acknowledged and repeated the landing permission from air traffic control, and then proceeded with the approach and landing procedures,” Japan Airlines said in a statement.

The flight, JAL516, had left New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, Japan, on time at about 3:50 p.m. on Tuesday. It “did not experience any issues or irregularities” during its departure or the flight, Japan Airlines said. It landed late at 5:47 p.m.

The plane struck a Japan Coast Guard aircraft, killing five of the six crew members on board, according to Japanese officials. Videos from the scene showed the larger plane erupting in fire as it moved down the runway.

“The aircraft’s announcement system malfunctioned during the evacuation, so cabin crew members conducted instructions using a megaphone and their voices,” the airline said.

All 367 passengers exited the burning plane through three emergency exits, the airline said.

The passengers “successfully performed an emergency evacuation,” as the plane began to be consumed by flames, the airline said.

It was later engulfed in flames on the runway. The Airbus was a total loss, the airline said.

The aircraft, which had been registered as JA13XJ, was delivered to Japan Airlines on Nov. 10, 2021, Airbus said in a statement on Tuesday. Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines powered the aircraft.

The French plane manufacturer said it was sending “a team of specialists” to Japan to assist French and Japanese investigators studying the crash.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.