China Airlines Boeing 737-809 plane crash
The Boeing 737-800 belonging to China Airlines departed Taipei, Taiwan, and landed at Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa Airport traffic controllers had received no
report from the pilot indicating anything was wrong as the plane came in to land and even as it stopped near the terminal to unload passengers. Soon after
the plane arrived at the stand, a fire erupted in or near the left engine.
All 157 passengers fled the Boeing 737-800 unhurt on inflated emergency slides. The eight-member crew also safely left the plane. A figure believed to be the pilot hung onto the cockpit window for several seconds before dropping to the tarmac and sprinting away from the exploding plane. When all occupants had evacuated, a large explosion occurred in the centre of the airplane.
A ground mechanic said he saw jet fuel leaking from near the engine. Investigators discovered that the fuel tank had been pierced. They believe the hole was made as the tank was pierced by a bolt that was part of the plane's structure.
Smoke started billowing from the plane immediately after the plane stopped at the gate. About one minute later, the right engine burst into flames. Fuel leaking from the airplane on hot surfaces in strong winds ignited and engulfed the aircraft in flames.
The airplane burned out completely. The fire was extinguished after about an hour, leaving the aircraft sagging on its side, charred in the middle, with part of its roof burned away.