World News

Police probe possible negligence in Tokyo runway collision

Police will investigate whether a crash between an airliner and a smaller plane at a Tokyo airport may involve professional negligence, media outlets reported on Wednesday, as authorities began inspecting the charred wreckage and runway for clues.

All 379 people miraculously escaped the Japan Airlines (JAL) Airbus A350 which erupted into flames after colliding with a De Havilland Dash-8 Coast Guard turboprop shortly after landing at Haneda on Tuesday evening. Five of the six Coast Guard crew, responding to a major earthquake in the country’s west, died.

Once a recurring safety problem, aviation experts say the number of such runway collisions or incursions have become far less frequent with modern ground tracking technology and procedures. The crash came just weeks after the global airline industry heard fresh warnings about runway safety.

Japan Airlines said in a statement on Tuesday the aircraft recognised and repeated the landing permission from air traffic control before approaching and touching down.

According to air traffic control recordings available, the JAL plane was cleared to land at 1745 local time, minutes before authorities say the collision occurred.

The Coast Guard has declined to comment on the exact circumstances surrounding the crash, including why the plane was on the runway and whether it was stationary or moving when disaster struck.

The plane, one of six Coast Guard aircraft based at the airport, had been involved in a mission to deliver aid to regions hit by a deadly earthquake on Monday.

Source: SABC

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