B-18616 Air China Boeing 737-800 engulfed in fire Okinawa

[ CTV News ]](http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews9/sunday/index.html/20070819/plane_fire_070819/20070819?hub=TopStories) click on video, then full screen.

Plane on fire at Japanese airport

A Taiwanese China Airlines plane has caught fire at an airport on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.
TV pictures showed the Boeing 737 passenger plane on the tarmac with huge flames and smoke billowing from it, as firefighters doused the fuselage.

A Japanese transport ministry official said all the passengers had left the aircraft before the fire started. There were also no crew members on board.

The plane had flown in from Taipei with more than 150 passengers on board.

[ B-18616 B737-809 ] ](Boeing 737-809 - China Airlines | Aviation Photo #0912686 | Airliners.net) from Airliners.net.

[ Air China update ] ](The Asahi Shimbun | Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis)
[ LiveLeak ] ](ItemFix - Social Video Factory) Video of 45 million dollar jet destroyed by fire, all survive-priceless! 8+ minute video.

Holy crap, that was a big explosion. It looked like the fire had started in the wheel area and spread to the wing, maybe a dragging brake?
Amazing video showing the pax leaving via the slides while the flames lick up around the middle windows.

I get the following error when I click on the link:
“The page you requested could not be accessed.”

It worked for me earlier, but not now.

Perhaps the load was too high on the server so they took the link down.

[ LiveLeak ] ](http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0b8_1187619407) Here is a new link to the same video.

Your NTSB link takes us to your hotmail.

Try this one: NTSB Press release

(I’m sure they drive on the other side of the road over there, but isn’t it the right engine we see burning?)

I was thinking about a hanging brake as well. Reports said the plane was slowing to a stop just before the flames and smoke erupted. I saw an AP article earlier that stated that the #2 engine was apparently leaking fuel, but that report has disappeared…or I just can’t find it. :confused:

Edit Here’s one: usatoday.com/news/world/2007 … iner_N.htm

Just how many people were on the a/c?

I saw 24, 127, then 165.

The Japanese Transport Ministry and the Naha Fire Department said the passengers included 155 adults and two toddlers. The crew was made up of 2 pilots and six flight attendants.
i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd20 … china4.jpg
i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd20 … china3.jpg
i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd20 … china1.jpg
i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd20 … china2.jpg

That’s awesome when it blows up! Glad nobody was hurt, emergency procedures made up for mechanical deficiencies.

Their replacement 738 should be ready in about six years.

Thanks! Awesome footage!

Check out the cockpit window at the time of explosion… 2 or 3 guys struggling to get out, and then… WHOOOOOMPF!!! They immediately fall to the ground followed immediately by one last guy. I’ll bet the ones who were struggling received a little extra “encouragement” by the last guy!

Experts probe plane fireball
August 21, 2007 Edition 3

Police and aviation officials began examining the charred shell of a China Airlines jet in southern Japan today, widening an investigation into why the plane exploded in flames just seconds after the 165 people aboard escaped.

No one was seriously injured in yesterday’s accident at an airport on the island of Okinawa, which began when an engine caught fire as the Boeing 737-800 pulled into a parking spot after arriving from Taiwan.

The probe has so far focused on reports from ground personnel that a fuel leak from the right engine could have led to the series of explosions. Boeing and the US government have dispatched experts to help with the investigation.

Japanese aviation authorities and local police began inspecting the wreckage this morning, said Hiromi Tsurumi, spokesman for Japan’s Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission.

“Authorities and police will jointly examine the plane’s body and wings,” Tsurumi said. “They will also pick up where they left off yesterday with interviewing the people involved.”

The plane’s 157 passengers and eight-member crew barely escaped with their lives.

The fire started in one of the engines just as the plane pulled into place at Okinawa’s Naha airport. With the plane’s wings and midsection ablaze, passengers escaped to the tarmac on inflated emergency chutes.

Once the aircraft was empty, and just as the pilot was climbing out of a cockpit window, the jet erupted in a fireball that sent flames and an enormous cloud of black smoke billowing into the sky.

No one was seriously injured. Two passengers were hospitalised because they felt unwell, but not because they were injured in the explosion. A ground engineer was knocked off his feet by the force of the blast, but was not hurt.

Boeing has delivered more than 5 400 737s since the plane entered commercial service in 1968. Airlines started flying the 737-800 in 1998. - Sapa-AP

Just listened to a CNN telephone interview from 1 of a group of 13 US Marines who were passengers on this flight. The aircraft was already parked and passengers were standing waiting to disembark.

Described a period of about 90 seconds where they spotted small flames on one side of the aircraft. He said he was over the wing, nobody reacted, people kept gathering their belongings from the overhead bins.

Then they saw flames on the other side, suddenly he said the windows were melting, the smell of smoke, and everyone went into extreme panic.

People were screaming in Japanese, Chinese, and English. He said a man upfront had sprained his ankle, and was holding everyone up. People were pushing from behind.

Then everybody just started jumping over seats in mass panic. He reached the ground about 25 seconds before the explosion.

Yikes! I thought I saw somebody with a dog walking in front of the camera as it blew up, probably security of some type.

I also noticed that the cameraman (or someone nearby) was yelling “Oh my God!” in clear plain English, which surprised me a little. Americans videotaping a Chinese airliner in Okinawa…There are cameras everywhere I guess.

…Better live your life as if you’re being filmed, because you probably are!! 8)

From the Associated Press:

*TOKYO (AP) Investigators Thursday found that a bolt had pierced the fuel tank of a Taiwanese jetliner that caught fire after landing in Japan, forcing all 165 people aboard to evacuate the plane seconds before it exploded, officials said.

A fuel leak through that hole likely caused Monday’s fire on the China Airlines Boeing 737-800, said Kazushige Daiki, chief investigator at Japan’s Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission.

All 157 passengers and eight crew evacuated safely at the airport on the resort island of Okinawa before the explosion. The pilots jumped from the cockpit window just before the jet erupted in a fireball.

Daiki said aviation officials investigating the wreckage found a bolt from a right wing slat piercing the fuel tank. The hole was about 0.8-1.2 inches in diameter. Investigators were still trying to determine how the bolt got into the tank.

“The bolt pierced through the fuel tank, and we believe that caused fuel to leak out,” Daiki said.

Following Thursday’s findings, Japan’s Transport Ministry ordered three Japanese airlines that own Boeing 737-800s to inspect the leading edge slats on the main wings to ensure bolts are in place before their first flight takes off Friday morning, said ministry spokesman Yusuke Asakura.

Slats slide out from the frontal edge of the main wings during takeoff and landing to stabilize the aircraft, along with flaps that come out of the wings’ rear edge.

Aircraft maker Boeing Co. has in the past received reports of several similar cases in which the bolt penetrated the fuel tank and instructed airlines in December 2005 to inspect their 737-800s, Kyodo News agency reported, citing Japanese transport officials.

Boeing spokesman Mark Hooper declined to comment on the report because the “investigation has not concluded.”

Ground engineers had said they saw fuel leaking from the plane’s right engine as it pulled into a parking spot after arriving from Taiwan.

Investigators had earlier suspected damage to the pylon connecting the engine to the right wing. But Harumi Tsurumi, a spokesman for the Accidents Investigation Commission, said the experts took apart the pylon and found no major problems so far.

The explosion was a blow to the Taiwan-based airline, which has been struggling to shake off its reputation for having a poor safety record.

In 2002, a China Airlines 747 crashed during a flight from Taipei to Hong Kong, killing 225 people. Some 450 people died in China Airlines accidents in the 1990s. *