Firefighters gather near an engine of a Korean Air jet following an apparent engine fire on the tarmac at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Photo / AP
An engine fire broke out on a Korean Air jet about to take off from a Tokyo airport, forcing the evacuation of the plane and leading to dramatic scenes of firefighters extinguishing the blaze.
The Tokyo Fire Department said 19 people were either injured in the evacuation or felt unwell after it, Japan’s Kyodo News
Firefighters put out the blaze within an hour, said Kyosuke Okada, a government official assigned to Haneda Airport. He said 302 passengers and 17 crew members were on board.
Japanese television broadcast live images of fire trucks blanketing the left-side engine and almost the entire side of the plane with white foam as smoke came out of the back of the engine.
Emergency exit chutes were deployed from the plane’s doors, and passengers gathered on a wide grassy area next to the runway and near the choppy waters of Tokyo Bay.
Korean Air said it will investigate the cause of the problem with the Boeing 777-300. A different plane was sent to Haneda to transport the passengers, it said in a statement.Flight 2708 was headed to Seoul. The runway the plane was using was closed and all other flights were temporarily halted, Okada said. He said the cause of the fire was still unknown.