Two planes collide in second Japan airport crash in weeks

The accident happened when a Korean Air plane was preparing for take-off

Athena Stavrou
Tuesday 16 January 2024 17:54 GMT
Passenger plane damaged as two aircraft collide on Japan runway

Two planes collided on a runway in Japan, in the second airport crash in the country within weeks.

A Korean Air Lines plane came into contact with a Cathay Pacific Airways aircraft at New Chitose Airport on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido on Tuesday, a Korean Air official said.

A Korean Air Lines plane clipped a Cathay Pacific Airways aircraft at New Chitose Airport (NHK News)

According to Hokkaido Airports, which operates New Chitose Airport, they received a report at around 5:30pm local time.

A Korean Air spokesperson said: “A Korean Air aircraft came into contact with a Cathay aircraft during pushback at New Chitose (Sapporo) Airport by the third-party ground handler vehicle which slipped due to heavy snow. There were no injuries and the airline is cooperating with all relevant authorities.”

While there were over 280 passengers and crew on board the Korean Air plane, there were no passengers on the Cathay Pacific plane after it arrived, NHK reported.

According to the fire department, there was no fire and no one has been reported as injured so far.

More than 46 flights have been cancelled today alone at the airport due to the snowy conditions in the region.

A statement from the airport before the crash read: “New Chitose Airport is experiencing flight delays and cancellations today due to heavy snow. Please check with your airline for details.”

An airport spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

It comes just two weeks after a fatal plane collision at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport left five people dead.

A Japan Airlines erupted into flames after the collision with a coastguard aircraft on the runway on January 2.

Footage from within the Japan Airlines Airbus-A350, which was carrying 379 people, including eight children, showed smoke pouring from beneath its wings as it landed at Tokyo’s Haneda airport at around 5.45pm local time (8.45am GMT).

By the time the plane came to a standstill, it was engulfed by flames as rescuers rushed to evacuate all the passengers.

Five coastguard crew members were killed in the collision. The pilot survived but was in a serious condition.

Just two weeks ago, a plane at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport left five people dead

A passenger on board the commercial flight described the moment their plane appeared to have collided with the other aircraft.

“I felt a boom,” the unnamed passenger told the Kyodo news agency, “like we had hit something and jerked upward the moment we landed. I saw sparks outside the window and the cabin filled with gas and smoke.”

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