Miracle Occurs on January 2nd at Haneda Airport After Plane Goes Up in Smoke

By Phaedra Fernflores

December 19, 2023
Picture of Japan Airlines Flight 516 shortly after it went up in flames on January 2, 2024 (Photo credit: JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)

On January 2, 2024 what some say is a miracle occurred at Haneda airport in Tokyo when Japan Airlines Flight 516 burst into flames after colliding with a Japan Coast Guard plane on the runway. All 379 people on the Japan Airlines Flight including the captain managed to evacuate the aircraft before it was too late, with only 15 people suffering minor injuries.  The Coast Guard plane however did not have a similar outcome, 5 out of the 6 people aboard that aircraft died in the fiery crash. 

The Japan Airlines plane flew into Haneda airport around 8:47 UTC and shortly after, collided with the Japan Coast Guard plane on the runway at the airport. As the plane was coming down onto the tarmac some passengers felt a bump and the pilots claim to have felt a shock causing them to lose control of the plane. As they sped down the runway pilots were informed about the engine that had just burst into flames. When interviewed by CNN, passenger Satoshi Yamake said, “we landed normally, didn’t feel a shock or anything.” 

Upon landing, fire trucks rushed to the scene. Meanwhile, inside the plane flight attendants and the crew of the plane led the passengers through the evacuation protocols using megaphones and successfully got everyone out of the plane. Most passengers were very calm, making it easy for everyone to get out in a timely manner during this evacuation. Passengers were told to leave all carry-ons and belongings on board which according to the crew, saved lives. While the cause of this horrific crash is still uncertain, the outcome is not and it is a relief to hear that everyone aboard Japan Airlines Flight 516 was safely evacuated despite the emergency.