It took the 12 crew members just 18 minutes to usher all 367 passengers to safety after their Japan Airlines jet struck a small plane while landing at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, and then firefighters spent more than six hours to extinguish the blaze that engulfed the plane. The crew, unable to use the damaged PA system, calmly issued instructions through megaphones; and passengers, who remained seated before making their way to evacuation slides, left their carry-on luggage behind. Aviation experts said the unshakeable composure displayed by the flight attendants combined with the high level of cooperation among passengers probably prevented it becoming a major disaster. There were no serious injuries on the jet but five of the six people on the small plane, a Japan Coast Guard De Havilland Dash-8, perished.

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