The next time you’re aboard a plane watching the safety demonstrations, don’t brush them off as unnecessary details of a catastrophe that won’t save anyone—because on a runway in the Japanese Airport of Haneda, they saved 379 souls.
“The Miracle on Haneda” as it’s being called, saw an Airbus A350 owned by Japan Airlines set completely ablaze but every passenger and crew member escaping to safety.
Inquests into the incident detail that the pilot received the all-clear from the control tower to land, but a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft was crossing the runway at the time. Striking it, the plane caught fire and had to come to a complete stop from landing speed before the evacuation could take place.
Footage taken from social media shows the passengers filming the fire from inside the plane shortly after landing, with the vast majority of those on board remaining remarkably calm.
“I heard an explosion about 10 minutes after everyone and I got off the plane,” 28-year-old passenger Tsubasa Sawada, told Reuters. “I can only say it was a miracle, we could have died if we were late.”
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