Japan Airlines Crash: Five Dead As JAL Flight Catches Fire

Japan Airlines Crash: Five Dead As JAL Flight Catches Fire

A devastating start to the new year for Japan.

Following the devastating earthquake in Western Japan on 1 Jan 2024, chaos erupted at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport just a day later on Tuesday, 2 Jan 2024, when a Japan Airlines (JAL) Airbus A350 collided with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft on landing.

Japan Airlines Flight 516 catches fire

JAL flight 516, carrying 367 passengers and 12 crew, collided with a Japan Coast Guard De Havilland Canada DHC-8 aircraft upon landing and burst into flames, sending passengers scrambling to evacuate using emergency slides. Tweets on social media platform X showed footage of the aircraft engulfed in flames, particularly around the engine area, with emergency services putting out the fire.

Miraculously, all 379 people on board the Japan Airlines flight escaped the burning aircraft with their lives, although 17 passengers were reported to have suffered minor injuries from the crash. Sadly, however, five crew members of the Coast Guard aircraft, which was deployed for earthquake relief efforts in Niigata Prefecture, lost their lives in the tragic incident. The captain of the aircraft is critically injured and currently being warded at the time of writing.

Flight disruptions at Haneda Airport

Following the crash, both Japan Airlines and the French aviation agency have sent teams to probe the incident. Flight disruptions were widespread, with most departures from Haneda Airport cancelled for an extended period, with numerous flights being diverted to other airports.

The incident brings to light the importance of aviation safety and ground operations at major airports. However, kudos have to be given to the crew of JAL flight 516 for the rapid evacuation and the effectiveness of their emergency procedures, which potentially prevented greater loss of life.


Following the incident, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed condolences for the deceased coast guard members and acknowledged their mission to assist earthquake victims. As investigations are still ongoing, more details are expected to emerge in the coming hours and days. Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims and those affected by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Bangladesh News 24 via X

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Darren Yeoh
Darren Yeoh

Darren enjoys the finer things in life and loves exploring unfamiliar places on foot, guided with nothing but instinct and a good-old fashioned map. He enjoys cultural experiences and exciting adventures and is not a stranger to travelling alone. When he's not putting his travel experiences into words, he's probably sitting behind his laptop, planning his upcoming adventure.