TOKYO Friday, 1 February 2019 : A Japan Airlines plane from New Delhi skidded off a snow-bound runway at Narita Airport earlier today, officials said, briefly closing part of Tokyo’s main hub.
The plane, registered JA870J, was carrying out flight JL740 from Delhi International Airport (DEL) to Tokyo-Narita. Upon landing, its left main gear slipped on a patch of ice present on the runway, leading to the plane skidding into the soft ground, according to the Narita airport office of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, quoted by Japanese news agency Kyodo News. The wheels of the left gear were buried in the mud, making the plane immovable.
Spokespeople from the airport and the carrier said the 201 passengers and crew had all been escorted off the Boeing 787 jet with no serious injuries.
The accident forced the airport to close one of its two runways for an hour from 7am, Narita spokesman Kazuhiko Morio said.
The captain declared on NHK public television, “It seems that the surface was frozen, I slipped and applied a brake, but I could not prevent it.”The runway was then closed again as the plane was moved out of a safety zone, Morio added.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear but public broadcaster NHK said one of the plane’s tyres may have slipped on a rare patch of snow on the runway.
The airport was affected by only a light snowfall. Due to the incident, the airport had to temporary shutdown of one of its two runways, resulting in traffic disruptions. Traffic was disrupted for about an hour, Narito airport spokesman Kazuhiko Morio said. It was then closed again to move the plane from the runway into a safe zone.
Television footage showed some snow lingering on the ground at the airport although runways and taxiways were clear.
Judging by the footage, the plane seemed to have sustained no damage in the accident.
Light snowfall in the Kanto region, eastern Japan, had been announced by the National Meteorological Agency, particularly around Narita