A Korean Air Boeing 777 about to take off from Tokyo-Haneda to Seoul developed an engine fire which had had to be extinguished by the airport fire department, leading to the runway to be closed.
All 302 passengers plus 17 crew members have been evacuated over emergency slides from the aircraft onto the tarmac.
Korean Air Flight KE2708 was scheduled to depart on Friday morning from Haneda and was thankfully still on the runway when the fire developed.
All passengers and crew were evacuated safely without injury.
NBC News has a story on the development in Tokyo (access here).
An engine fire broke out on a Korean Air jet about to take off from a Tokyo on Friday, authorities said. The incident prompted authorities to temporarily close down Japan’s busiest aviation hub.
Firefighters put out the blaze within the hour. No injuries were reported, although around 30 passengers said they felt unwell, according to state-owned broadcaster NHK.
Japanese television broadcast live images of at least two fire trucks blanketing the left-side engine and almost the entire side of the Boeing 777 with what appeared to be white foam as smoke came out the back of the engine.
A large crowd was gathered on a wide grassy area next to the runway at Haneda Airport and near the choppy waters of Tokyo Bay. Emergency chutes were deployed from the plane’s doors. The cause of the fire was unknown. The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.
With no fatalities or even injuries the passengers and crew can consider themselves very very lucky especially in consideration that the aircraft was just about to take off.
There will be a thorough investigation of this incident involving the Japanese authorities, the NTSB since it’s an American made aircraft as well as experts from Boeing and Pratt&Whitney. We will follow up on this wish everybody on board this flight speedy recovery from this experience.