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Korean Air evacuates plane at Japan’s Haneda airport after engine smoke

Fire fighters spraying foam at the engine of the Korean Air Lines plane at Haneda airport

Korean Air Lines on Friday evacuated 319 passengers and crew from an aircraft preparing to take off from Japan’s Haneda Airport in Tokyo after its left engine caught fire.

The incident prompted authorities to temporarily close down Japan’s busiest aviation hub. Three of the airport’s four runways were reopened later in the day, but by 0630 GMT, 297 flights had been cancelled with 57 planes diverted elsewhere.

Haneda Airport, located on Tokyo Bay, handles around 550 flights a day, with around 75 million passengers passing through last year, making it one of the world’s busiest airports.

An NHK broadcast showed images of the Boeing 777 on a runway being sprayed with foam by fire trucks, with four of its emergency slides deployed. The aircraft, due to fly to Seoul in South Korea, was powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.

No injuries were reported, although about 30 passengers said they felt unwell, the state-owned broadcaster said.

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