A large airliner carrying 367 passengers exploded at an airport near Tokyo on Tuesday, January 2, just a day after a brutal 7.6 magnitude earthquake devastated the west coast of Japan.
The plane engulfed in a raging inferno on the runway at Haneda Airport, in Ota City, Tokyo. The airliner collided with a coastguard plane carrying earthquake aid as it came into land, Japanese TV reported, with the collision triggering a massive explosion.
A Japan Airlines spokesperson reportedly told NHK that all 367 passengers aboard the aircraft at the time of the explosion were successfully evacuated from the plane.
Five out of six Japan Coast Guard crew members on the aircraft that collided with the Japan Airlines aircraft were initially missing, according to TBS Television.
The condition of the five missing crew from the Japanese Coast Guard aircraft who have all been found is not yet known.
The Coast Guard aircraft was on its way to the Niigata airport base to deliver aid to the quake-hit Noto Peninsula, officials said on Tuesday.
Fire crews were deployed to the scene immediately with firefighters desperately trying to extinguish the flames with multiple hoses.