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Tokyo airport collision: Japan Airlines apologizes to passengers; condoles death of Coast Guard crew members

"We also deeply apologize for the great concern and inconvenience caused to the passengers on our flights, their families, and everyone involved," Japan Airlines said in a statement after Tuesday's shocking collision at Tokyo airport.

Tokyo airport collision: Japan Airlines apologizes to passengers; condoles death of Coast Guard crew members snt
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First Published Jan 3, 2024, 11:27 AM IST

On the evening of January 2nd, a tragic incident unfolded at Tokyo's Haneda Airport involving a Japan Airlines (JAL) plane, Flight 516, which collided with a smaller Japan Coast Guard aircraft on the runway. The aftermath resulted in a devastating fire, leading to the loss of five lives among the coastguard crew. In the wake of this incident, JAL took to social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to release a series of statements addressing the situation, expressing condolences, offering apologies, and outlining measures for those affected.

Also read: Japan Airlines' dramatic evacuation: Video reveals how 379 people escaped blaze after Tokyo airport collision

JAL's initial statement detailed the collision between Flight 516 and the Japan Coast Guard aircraft upon landing at Haneda Airport. The intense impact led to a fire on the runway, with footage showing flames engulfing the Airbus. All 379 passengers and crew on the JAL flight were successfully evacuated, but unfortunately, five out of six crew members on the coastguard plane lost their lives. The captain sustained injuries.

"On the evening of January 2nd, when JAL flight 516 landed at Haneda Airport, it collided with a Japan Coast Guard aircraft and burst into flames on the runway. We would like to offer our sincere prayers for the repose of the souls of the members of the Japan Coast Guard who have passed away," said the airlines in a series of post on X.

Recognizing the significant concern and inconvenience caused to passengers, their families, and everyone involved, JAL issued a sincere apology. The post emphasized the airline's commitment to fully cooperate with the Japan Transport Safety Board's investigation to determine the cause of the accident.

"We also deeply apologize for the great concern and inconvenience caused to the passengers on our flights, their families, and everyone involved. Our company will fully cooperate with the accident investigation by the Japan Transport Safety Board of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism," JAL added.

To address the impact of the incident on passengers' travel plans, JAL announced measures for those who had booked flights with the airline by March 31st. The statement assured flexibility, allowing changes and refunds without charge. Passengers were directed to check for detailed information regarding these accommodations.

The incident disrupted travel plans for thousands of passengers, leading to the closure of all four runways at Haneda Airport. As the international community closely monitored the situation, Airbus announced sending a team of specialists to assist in the investigation, marking the first major accident involving an A350 aircraft.

Also read: Japan Airlines collision: Coast Guard jet was slated to aid earthquake rescue efforts; 5 crew members dead

Air safety experts and officials commended the efforts of the JAL crew for successfully evacuating all passengers amid the chaotic situation. The focus on safety and the crew's disciplined response garnered praise, highlighting their dedication to ensuring the well-being of everyone on board.

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