Tokyo airport back to normal after crash

TOKYO: Flight operations returned to normal on Monday at Tokyo's Haneda airport, six days after a near-catastrophic collision between an airliner and smaller plane that killed five people, officials said.

All 379 passengers and crew escaped the burning Japan Airlines plane after the January 2 crash, but five of the six people on the coast guard aircraft that it collided with were killed.

The runway at Haneda – one of four – where the crash happened has been closed since then, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of mostly domestic flights at one of the world's busiest airports.

"Runway C resumed operation today (Monday)" so the airport is back to normal operation, a Tokyo airport spokeswoman told AFP.

Workers have removed the charred remains of the two planes and Japanese investigators together with counterparts from France, Britain and Canada are probing the accident.

A transcript of communications released by the transport ministry last week suggested that the coast guard plane was instructed to halt before the runway and that the JAL plane was cleared to land.

But the coast guard pilot, who was the only survivor, believes he had clearance to move onto the runway, where his plane stood for around 40 seconds before the crash, according to media reports.--AFP

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