Plane catches fire before takeoff
Tokyo — An engine fire broke out on a Korean Air jet about to take off from a Tokyo airport yesterday, and seven people may have been injured, an official said.
Firefighters put out the blaze within the hour, and all 302 passengers and 17 crewmembers were evacuated, said Kyosuke Okada, a government official assigned to Haneda Airport.
Okada cited unconfirmed reports that two men and five women were injured but said details were unknown.
Japanese televisions broadcast live images of at least two fire trucks blanketing the left-side engine and almost the entire side of the plane 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 and near the choppy waters of Tokyo Bay. Emergency chutes were deployed from the plane’s doors.
Flight 2708 was headed to Seoul. The runway the plane was using has been closed and all other flights have been temporarily halted, Okada said. He said the cause of the fire was still unknown.
Korean Air said the company will determine the cause of the problems with its Boeing 777-300. A different plane will fly to Haneda later Friday to transport the passengers, it said in a statement.