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Japan Airlines jet bursts into flames after collision with earthquake relief plane at Tokyo Haneda airport

A Japan Airlines plane carrying hundreds of passengers burst into flames on landing at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on Tuesday after it collided with an aircraft involved in earthquake relief efforts.


All crew members and passengers, including eight children under the age of two, on board JAL flight 516 were safely evacuated from the passenger plane, according to the airline, but five of six people on the other plane were reported killed.


The Airbus A350-900 aircraft ignited after flying into Haneda from the northern Japanese city of Sapporo at 5:47 p.m. local time (3:47 a.m. ET).


Five crew members died on the second aircraft, thought to be a De Havilland Canada DHC-8, operated by the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), according to Japan public broadcaster NHK. It said the plane’s captain was in a critical condition.


JAL is investigating the details and cause of the plane fire, a representative for the airline told CNN.


According to NHK, local fire services confirmed that 17 people on board the Japan Airlines plane were injured.


However, there is currently no further information regarding any details of injury.


More than 100 fire trucks were dispatched in response to the accident, NHK reports.


Video footage showed the passenger jet consumed by a large fireball as it moved down the runway. The plane was then seen at a standstill with people using emergency slides to flee the inferno as firefighters tried to battle the growing flames.


Guy Maestre, orginally from France, was on board an adjacent plane at the time of the accident on Tuesday and recalls hearing a “big bang.”


“I was hoping everyone was going to be safe,” Maestre, who had been visiting Japan from Philadelphia, told CNN, adding that it was “shocking to see.”


“I was in another plane in the window seat – we were getting ready to take off and we heard a big bang.


“We looked from our windows and saw a huge trail of flames running down the runway.

“Flames got higher and higher then we saw fire trucks go by the runway.”


A JCG spokesman told CNN that its aircraft had been headed from Haneda airport to an airbase in Niigata prefecture to help with relief efforts following a 7.5-magnitude earthquake on Monday.


Japan Airlines flight 516 took off from Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido prefecture to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport with approximately 400 passengers and crew on board, according to NHK.


The majority of departures from Haneda Airport are now canceled and it’s unclear when flight services will resume, the broadcaster reports.


CNN is reaching out to officials to confirm more details.


This article originally appeared on CNN.

Photo: Issei Kato/Reuters

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