A Japan Airlines flight collided with an earthquake relief plane at Tokyo's Haneda airport and burst into flames.



CNN

A Japan Airlines flight carrying hundreds of passengers burst into flames at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Tuesday after it collided with an earthquake relief plane.

All crew and passengers on board JAL Flight 516, including eight children under the age of two, were safely ejected from the passenger plane, the airline said, but five of the six people on board the other flight were said to have been killed.

The Airbus A350-900 caught fire after taking off from the northern Japanese city of Sapporo at 5:47 p.m. local time (3:47 a.m. ET) in Haneda.

According to Japan's public broadcaster NHK, five crew members died on the second plane, believed to be a De Havilland Canada DHC-8 operated by the Japan Coast Guard (JCG). It said the captain of the plane is in critical condition.

JAL is investigating the cause and details of the fire, an airline representative told CNN.

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

However, there are currently no details on the injury.

More than 100 fire engines were dispatched in response to the crash, NHK reported.

Video footage showed the passenger jet being consumed by a huge fireball as it moved down the runway. As firefighters tried to douse the growing flames, people used emergency slides to escape the inferno while the plane was stalled.

Guy Maestre, from France, was in a nearby plane when the crash happened on Tuesday and recalled hearing a “huge explosion”.

“I hope everyone is safe,” Maestre, who was traveling to Japan from Philadelphia, told CNN, adding that it was “shocking to see.”

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

“We looked out our windows and saw a huge flame running down the runway.

“The flames were getting bigger and we saw fire trucks on the runway.”

A JCG spokeswoman told CNN that its plane was headed from Haneda Airport to an air base in Niigata Prefecture to help with relief efforts following Monday's 7.5-magnitude earthquake.

Japan Airlines Flight 516 took off from Sapporo's New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido Prefecture to Tokyo's Haneda Airport with about 400 passengers and crew on board, NHK reported.

Most departures from Haneda Airport have now been canceled and it is unclear when flight services will resume, according to broadcast reports.

CNN is reaching out to officials to confirm more details.

CNN's Emiko Jozuka, Eric Cheung and Mayumi Maruyama contributed to this article.

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