90-Second Rule: Everything You Need to Know About Airplane Crashes
① Plane Collision Accident in Japan
A plane collision accident occurred in Tokyo, Japan. On the 2nd, at 5:47 PM, a collision occurred between a Japan Airlines (JAL) passenger plane and a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft, resulting in a large fire. Public broadcasters like NHK in Japan broadcasted the incident live, showing the complete destruction of the JAL aircraft, with its interior engulfed in flames.
In Japan, there was widespread concern about the possibility of significant casualties resulting from the plane collision. Fortunately, all 379 passengers on the JAL plane, comprising 367 passengers and 12 crew members, escaped. Among them, at least 17 sustained injuries, but there were no fatalities on the JAL passenger plane.
However, the Coast Guard aircraft that collided with the JAL passenger plane suffered a tragic loss, with 5 out of 6 passengers on board losing their lives. It is particularly disheartening to note that the Coast Guard plane had been scheduled to transport supplies to the earthquake-stricken area of the Noto Peninsula the day before the accident.
The JAL passenger plane, flight JAL 516, had a scheduled departure from New Chitose Airport near Sapporo, Hokkaido, around 4 PM with an expected arrival at 5:40 PM. The aircraft model was identified as the Airbus 350, Japan Airlines’ latest passenger plane.
Tragedy struck when a powerful explosion occurred at the plane’s rear while taxiing on the runway at Haneda Airport. This explosion ignited a fire at the aircraft’s rear and rapidly spread, eventually engulfing the entire plane.
In response to the incident, Haneda Airport closed all runways at 5:56 PM. However, three runways, excluding the one where the accident occurred, were reopened for operation starting the night of the 2nd.
During a press conference, Japan Airlines stated, “To the best of our knowledge, we had received landing permission.” They further elaborated, “Upon consulting with the flight crew, we confirmed that the plane was on a normal approach to the runway when the collision occurred, leading to this tragic accident.”
② ’90 Second Rule’ All Passengers Successfully Escaped
In the tense situation, passengers escaped from the burning aircraft using the escape slide. The escape slide is an emergency exit that inflates a slide attached to the aircraft door with gas to allow passengers to exit quickly.
It took about 4-5 minutes for all passengers to escape after the collision of the passenger plane. The cabin was completely engulfed in flames less than 10 minutes after the passengers escaped.
After the plane collision and the outbreak of flames, the interior of the aircraft was filled with screams and cries of passengers. The crew shouted for calm and unfolded the escape slide to guide passengers out of the cabin. Though passengers initially showed signs of panic, they soon sat down and looked around, following the evacuation order.
Airlines have the 90-Second Rule, which stipulates that passengers should be evacuated within 90 seconds in case of an emergency.
The 90-Second Rule is a crucial guideline in aviation safety, emphasizing the need to evacuate all passengers within 90 seconds, utilizing less than half of the available emergency exits. This rule considers scenarios where one side of the exits might become unusable due to factors like fire or other emergencies. In the recent accident, passengers effectively employed just one side of the exits to make their escape.
In aviation, 90 seconds is often called the “golden period,” per the aviation safety manual. Passengers who successfully evacuated the aircraft did so with remarkable composure, following the instructions provided by the crew.
Japan Airlines reported that their crew members, adhering to the 90-Second Rule, efficiently evacuated all passengers briefly. They emphasized that without the crew’s swift judgment and the passengers’ prompt response, the situation could have escalated into a major disaster. Foreign media also praised the crew’s commitment to the 90 Second Rule and highlighted the successful evacuation of all passengers in their incident coverage.
③ Passengers Share Their Experiences on the Plane at the Time
Passengers who were involved in the JAL passenger plane accident took to social media to share their harrowing experiences. According to these passengers, the plane’s interior became engulfed in thick white smoke, severely limiting their visibility.
One passenger even shared a video of the incident on social media, captioning it with the words, “I’m grateful to be alive.” While still on the runway, the video depicted the aircraft engulfed in flames, with smoke rapidly filling the cabin.
Another passenger described the chaotic scene: “The cabin filled with smoke within minutes; it was like a nightmarish ordeal. We were disoriented, not knowing which way to go, and scrambled to get outside. It was utter chaos.”
Yet another passenger explained, “I was filming inside the plane when suddenly, an intense orange flame erupted from the aircraft, followed by a loud explosion. I was taken aback. Despite an announcement instructing us to remain inside the plane, I waited awhile.”
Asahi reported on the potential causes of the collision, suggesting, “It’s possible that either the Japan Airlines or Coast Guard aircraft may have misinterpreted the air traffic controller’s instructions,” and also raised the possibility that there could have been an error on the part of the air traffic controller.
By. Sung Min Seo