Video footage published by Reuters shows the passenger jet, an Airbus A350, moving along the runway before coming to a standstill, in flames. Rescuers can be seen extinguishing the fire.
The flight was arriving in Tokyo from Sapporo, in Japan’s northernmost prefecture, Hokkaido, a popular tourist destination.
The passenger jet had just touched down when it “crashed directly into” the coast guard plane, Shigenori Hiraoka, head of Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau, said at a news conference Tuesday evening, Japanese outlet Nikkei reported. He said “we still need to confirm the details of the interaction with air traffic control concerning the cause of the accident.”
A Japan Airlines official told reporters at a news conference that the flight had received permission to land, but that exchanges between the cockpit and flight control were under investigation, Reuters reported.
The coast guard plane was heading to Niigata Airport in western Japan to bring aid to communities devastated by a powerful earthquake that struck the area Monday, according to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
The 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Ishikawa killed at least 48 people and left scores more injured or missing, causing widespread damage and sparking a tsunami warning Monday.
All departing flights from Haneda Airport — closer to Tokyo and busier than the city’s other major airport, Narita — were suspended for the rest of the evening. The departure area was filled with travelers waiting to reschedule the flights, with long lines at restaurants and waiting areas.
At least 48 dead as Japanese earthquake causes widespread destruction
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement posted on X that he was grateful for the work of first responders and offered his condolences for the five coast guard crew members who were killed, thanking them for their “strong sense of mission and responsibility.”
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