France To Send Forensic Team To Help With Haneda Airport Collision Investigation

In the wake of a tragic collision at Tokyo's Haneda airport involving a Japan Airlines (JAL) plane and a Coast Guard aircraft, France has taken swift action. The French government has dispatched a team of forensic experts to Tokyo to assist in the ongoing investigation.


The collision, which occurred during the landing of the JAL Airbus A350, resulted in the unfortunate death of five out of six crew members on the Coast Guard aircraft. Despite the JAL plane catching fire, all 367 passengers and 12 crew members were successfully evacuated. The Coast Guard aircraft was reportedly en route to Niigata on Japan's west coast to deliver aid following a powerful earthquake that struck on New Year's Day. The JAL representative stated that they believed the flight had been granted landing permission, although communications with flight control were still being investigated.


The evacuation's efficiency was commended by passengers and aviation experts. Tsubasa Sawada, a 28-year-old passenger, described their timely exit as a miracle. Paul Hayes, the director of air safety at the UK-based aviation consultancy Ascend by Cirium, observed that none of the evacuees appeared to be carrying hand luggage. The French forensic experts' mission is to assist in the investigation and help determine the cause of the accident. Their expertise will be invaluable in analyzing the crash site and gathering crucial evidence. This is not the first time France has sent experts to assist in crash investigations. The BEA crash investigation agency of France is known for its specialist black box search teams and has previously assisted in investigations of air crashes involving Airbus aircraft. The investigation is being conducted by the Japan Transport Safety Board, police, and other departments. Representatives from France, Britain, and Airbus are also expected to join the investigation.


Following the accident, Haneda airport was closed for several hours, but three runways have since resumed operations. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed his condolences over the deaths of the Coast Guard crew and assured that authorities were making efforts to ensure the accident did not disrupt the delivery of earthquake relief supplies. The dispatch of French forensic experts underscores the international cooperation in aviation safety and accident investigation. Their expertise and assistance will be crucial in uncovering the circumstances leading to this tragic incident and hopefully prevent similar occurrences in the future.

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