More than 300 passengers and crew had a lucky escape when they evacuated a Korean Air B777 on the runway in Tokyo after a fire broke out in its left engine.
It happened as the plane was accelerating to take off from Tokyo’s Haneda airport. Flight crew slammed on the brakes after air traffic controllers noticed that an engine had caught fire.
The plane, bound for South Korea’s Gimpo International airport and carrying 302 passengers and 17 crew, was shown in TV footage surrounded by red fire engines at the airport. The tarmac around its left wing was heavily coated in white foam.
Some of the dramatic scenes can be seen in the video below.
“The flight had a fire on engine number one,” a Korean Air spokesman said
The Aviation Herald reported that 12 people received injuries in the evacuation and were taken to hospitals. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
The runway remained closed for about six hours while the aircraft was moved and evidence collected.
Japan’s Ministry of Transport said airport tower controllers noticed flames and smoke billowing from the left-hand engine and told the crew to stop.
Haneda is Tokyo’s most central major airport. Located next to Tokyo Bay, it is increasingly used for international flights.
Written by Peter Needham