12 Australians Onboard Japan Plane Safe, Says PM Anthony Albanese

“There were 12 Australians on the Japan Airlines flight. All of them are safe.”

Canberra:

Following the collision of a Japan Airlines aircraft and a Japan Coast Guard plane, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese clarified that the 12 Australians on board the Japan Airlines flight are safe.

In a video posted on X, the Australian PM stated that Canberra is ready to provide all the support required by Japan in this crisis.

“There were 12 Australians on the Japan Airlines flight. All of them are safe. And all of them have been accounted for,” Mr Albanese said.

“Our hearts go out to our friends in Japan, both for the impact of the earthquake that has seen a considerable loss of life, as well, of course we know that there are ongoing issues as a result of that major earthquake, including the potential for Tsunamis and other activity there,” the Australian PM said.

“And we will provide and have offered whatever support is requested by our friends in Japan,” he went on to say.

Airbus, the European multinational aerospace corporation, has expressed regret over the collision of Japan Airlines aircraft and a Japan Coast Guard plane, which claimed five lives.

Airbus also assured to provide technical assistance to the Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses (BEA) of France and to the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB), the agencies in charge of the investigation.

“Airbus regrets to confirm that an A350-900 operated by Japan Airlines was involved in an accident during flight JAL516 from Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Haneda International Airport shortly after 17:47 (local time) on January 2, 2024. All 367 passengers and 12 crew members on-board evacuated the aircraft,” a statement from Airbus read.

“The A350 collided with a DHC-8 aircraft at landing in Haneda. The Japanese authorities have since confirmed that sadly five of the six people on board the DHC-8 did not survive. The exact circumstances of the event are still unknown,” the statement added.

The tragic incident occurred at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Tuesday. All 379 passengers aboard the JAL flight from Sapporo, including eight children, escaped without life-threatening injuries.

The cause of the accident remains unknown, prompting the transport ministry to initiate an investigation into the aircraft’s communications with flight control, according to Kyodo News.

Tragically, five of the six coast guard members on the plane, aged 27 to 56, lost their lives in the crash. The captain, however, managed to escape, according to police reports.

The immediate response of the airport was to close all four runways, causing significant disruptions to air traffic during one of the busiest travel seasons. Subsequently, three of the four runways, excluding the one where the collision occurred, were reopened around 9:30 pm, according to the transport ministry.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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