Police probe potential negligence in Tokyo runway collision

© Reuters. Officers examine a burnt Japan Coast Guard plane after a collision with Japan Airways’ (JAL) Airbus A350 aircraft at Haneda Worldwide Airport in Tokyo, Japan January 3, 2024. REUTERS/Issei Kato

By Kaori Kaneko, Lisa Barrington and Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) -Police are investigating whether or not a crash between an airliner and a smaller aircraft at a Tokyo airport might contain skilled negligence, media reported on Wednesday, as transport authorities started inspecting the charred wreckage for clues.

All 379 folks miraculously escaped the Japan Airways (JAL) Airbus A350 which erupted into flames after colliding with a De Havilland Sprint-8 Coast Guard turboprop shortly after touchdown at Haneda on Tuesday night.

5 of the six Coast Guard crew, responding to a significant earthquake that struck the nation’s west coast, died.

As soon as a recurring security downside, aviation consultants say the variety of such runway collisions or incursions have turn into far much less frequent with fashionable floor monitoring know-how and procedures.

Japanese authorities say the reason for the crash stays unclear.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police Division are investigating whether or not potential skilled negligence led to deaths and accidents, a number of information shops together with Kyodo information company and Asia reported.

A police spokesperson mentioned a particular unit had arrange on the airport and was investigating the runway and planning to interview folks concerned, however declined to touch upon whether or not they have been wanting into potential skilled negligence.

“There is a sturdy risk there was a human error,” mentioned Hiroyuki Kobayashi, a former JAL pilot and aviation analyst.

“Just one aircraft is usually allowed to enter the runway however regardless that touchdown clearance had been given, the Japan Coast Guard plane was on the runway.”

The JAL aircraft was instructed to proceed its strategy to runway 34R at 1743 native time (0843GMT), and was given clearance to land at 1745, two minutes earlier than authorities say the collision occurred on the identical runway at 1747, in keeping with air site visitors management recordings accessible at liveATC.web. “Clear to land 34R Japan Airways 516,” a controller might be heard saying in a recording.

Haneda airport didn’t instantly have touch upon the recordings.

JAL mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday the plane recognised and repeated the touchdown permission from air site visitors management earlier than approaching and touching down.

The Coast Guard has declined to touch upon the circumstances surrounding the crash, together with why the aircraft was on the runway and whether or not it was stationary or transferring when catastrophe struck.

The aircraft, one in every of six Coast Guard plane primarily based on the airport, had been because of ship help to areas hit by a lethal earthquake on Monday.


In addition to the police probe, the Japan Security Transport Board (JTSB) can also be investigating the crash, with participation from businesses in France, the place the Airbus airplane was constructed, and Britain the place its two Rolls-Royce (OTC:) engines have been manufactured, folks acquainted with the matter mentioned.

Airbus mentioned it was additionally sending technical advisers to help within the investigation.

JTSB has recovered flight and voice recorders from the coast guard plane, Kyodo information company reported, citing the company.

Whereas all passengers and crew have been evacuated round 20 minutes after the crash, the plane was utterly engulfed in flames and burned for greater than six hours, the airline mentioned.

Authorities have been set to start work to take away the charred stays of the JAL plane within the afternoon, Kyodo reported, whereas TV footage confirmed police and hearth division personnel inspecting the location of the accident on Wednesday.

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