Crews begin clearing plane wreckage from Japan runway collision

NEW DELHI: At Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, teams are removing the burnt remains of a Japan Airlines (JAL) Airbus A350 following a fatal runway collision with a Japanese Coast Guard plane. The incident occurred during landing last Tuesday, resulting in the deaths of five Coast Guard crew members, though all 379 passengers on the JAL flight safely evacuated.
The clearance operation involves excavators dismantling the aircraft, overseen by several personnel.The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) has yet to recover the JAL plane’s cockpit voice recorder, although its flight data recorder was retrieved on Wednesday.
The plan is to transfer the wreckage to a hangar by January 7 for further examination by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. The investigation is focusing on why the Coast Guard aircraft was on the runway as the JAL plane landed.
This Coast Guard flight, its third emergency mission to an earthquake zone in 24 hours, collided with the JAL jet at one of the busiest airports, a Coast Guard representative informed Reuters.
Investigations are in the early stages, with experts noting that multiple safety failures usually contribute to such accidents. U.S. aviation safety authorities are assisting Japan with analyzing the airplane recorders.
This incident is notable as it’s the first time a modern airliner made with lightweight carbon-composite materials has been destroyed by fire, posing a significant test case for handling catastrophic fires in newer aircraft.
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