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Japan: Plane in flames after collision at airport, five deaths

Tokyo, Jan 2 (Prensa Latina) Two airplanes collided and caught fire Tuesday at the runway C of Haneda International Airport where five deaths were reported, local sources reported.

The dead people were members of the Japan Coast Guard whose aircraft (Bombardier DHC8-300) collided with an Airbus A350 landing with 367 passengers on board.

“The evacuation was too fast, allowing the crew and passengers to escape safely,” Shigetsu Hiraoka, director-general of the Civil Aviation Bureau at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, told a press conference.

Hiraoka stressed that the National Transportation Safety Board and other relevant agencies are investigating on-site the cause of the accident, which is allegedly attributable to communication failures with air traffic control.

In this regard, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed to determine the damage situation as soon as possible and provide proper information to the public.

JAL´s CEO Norimasa Aoki apologized for the inconvenience and concern caused to its customers and others involved.

“I pray for the repose of the souls of those who passed away and offer my heartfelt condolences to their bereaved families,” Aoki said.