A father who was on board a plane that caught fire after colliding with a Coast Guard plane in Tokyo said he and his family were “still in shock” after the ordeal.
William Manzione was with his wife and children when A A Japan Airlines Airbus A350 collided with a Bombardier Dash-8. Upon arrival at Haneda Airport, Tokyo.
The passenger plane caught fire, but all 379 passengers and crew were evacuated, and 14 people were reported to have been injured.
Five of the six crew members on board the Coast Guard plane died, and only the captain survived.
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Speaking to Sky News, Manzione explained what it was like inside the plane and how his family managed to dodge a “really big bullet”.
“My assumption was that something in the landing gear was broken, and I was sitting in the front of the plane, which as I later saw was the least damaged part,” he said in response to a question about what happened when the plane landed.
“There was a huge impact and I looked into my wife's eyes and said, 'Something is not right at all.'
“Within a few seconds, there was a louder boom, and I felt the plane leaning forward, towards the ground, and then I started to hear the flight attendants shouting in Japanese.
He added: “I understand they were trying to keep everyone calm and not panic, and there were actually some passengers trying to leave their seats.”
“I still feel the adrenaline rushing.”
More than 24 hours after the plane was evacuated, Manzione said: “I think we are still in shock. I feel the adrenaline flowing but I also feel it could have been much worse. We are all together here.”
He explained that he did not realize the true extent of the crash until after he left the plane.
He said: “I was not aware of the whole situation. I was with my children, one of whom is seven years old, and my wife, and we started following the instructions of the flight attendants, and everything was really fast.”
“When I got out of my seat I started seeing flames coming out of the windows and then I realized this is not good.
“When I saw the inflatable slide, I understood that it was bad. I took my son and went down the slide and we met my other relatives. Then I turned around and saw the plane with the front of the plane completely destroyed and flames all over the slide. Behind.
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“Then I started to realize that it was much bigger than what I felt when I landed. I didn't realize there was another plane involved, I was shocked by that.”
But Mr Manzione said the moment he “felt most frightened” was while waiting on the runway, when one of the engines started making a sound like it was about to explode – fortunately it did not.
“Dodged a really big bullet.”
Manzione praised the flight crew and said it was “amazing” that all passengers were transported to safety so quickly.
“They were amazing, I had to leave my bag with the passports and everything. But within a few minutes, 370 people got off the plane with only two exits,” he said.
“My family and I had a reunion last night, and today we realized that we may have dodged a really big bullet. That feeling of relief helps a lot with keeping a little bit stable. The emotions yesterday were really overwhelming.”