FedEx cargo plane crashes in Tokyo

A FedEx MD-11 cargo plane has crashed on landing at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, killing the two pilots and closing the airport’s main runway for almost a day.

The accident happened as the aircraft was attempting to land in typhoon conditions, with winds gusting up to 72 km/h. Ironically, it is a sudden abatement of the wind that is thought to have caused the crash, with the aircraft’s wings losing lift as its airspeed suddenly decreased.

A video taken on a mobile phone shows the plane landing hard on its nose gear before bouncing, landing again, bouncing even higher and rolling onto its left wing, which exploded in a ball of fire. Japanese authorities said the cargo plane was carrying some flammable liquids among its freight.

It took firefighters more than two hours to get the blaze under control. In the meantime, other aircraft were diverted from the airport, leaving many passengers stranded for hours.

Airport officials said the accident would cause flight cancellations and delays, and that scores of flights had been diverted elsewhere, including Haneda airport closer to Tokyo.
Japan Airlines cancelled 35 flights and diverted 11, including cargo aircraft. The accident affected 8,210 passengers. ANA scrapped 13 flights and diverted eight, affecting at least 1,810 passengers.

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