By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA – The Philippine Embassy in Japan is still getting information whether any Filipino was among the passengers of the Japan Airlines plane that burst into flames after colliding with a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft on Jan. 2.
“Hopefully, there were no Filipinos among them,” Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Albano said in a CNN Philippines interview on Wednesday.
The envoy said all 367 passengers and crew of JAL Flight 516 managed to evacuate but 14 sustained injuries.
Five of the six crew members onboard the coast guard plane died in the collision.
“(The Japan Airlines) are not able to give out information because of privacy issues but we continue to persist, especially if we have a Filipino onboard who may need travel documents in case their papers were burned down,” Albano said.
She said the Embassy is ready to provide any assistance should there be Filipinos among them.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that the JAL flight was given permission to land on Haneda Airport’s C-runway from New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido before it collided with the Japan Coast Guard plane around 6 p.m. (local time) on Jan. 2.
The smaller aircraft was en route to Niigata Prefecture to deliver aid following a massive earthquake that struck the region on New Year’s Day. (PNA)