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Monday, June 8, 2009

Small fire under seat on JL653

JL653 (KIX-TPE) had to make an emergency landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) due to a small fire found under the seat on Saturday (June 6 2009). 

It was a Boeing 767-300 aircraft carrying 10 crew members and 33 passengers (THIRTY-THREE!?!?!). The flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:45PM on Saturday but at around 8:20PM a small fire was found under the seat in the center section of the plane. The cabin attendant was able to put out the fire with a extinguisher (Good job!). The plane landed safely at 8.27PM with no injuries reported.

A cigarette lighter was found under the seat cushion and it was believe this was the cause of the fire. This is very similar to ANA's incident in early April. A 767 from HKG to HND had to return to HKG after fire was found in one of the seats and a lighter was found under the seat too. Both JAL and ANA allow passenger to carry one small lighter or small amount of safety matches on most of its flights (US flights are not allowed). I am not sure what's the use of the lighter while smoking is prohibited on all of the flights. Are they expecting the passengers to use the lighter after the plane crash to light a fire and keep them warm? Seriously if this is a recurring cause of fire onboard, maybe they should reconsider this policy.

And what's wrong with the passenger load? The 767-300 can carry 232 passengers (30J 202Y) and there were only 33 passengers onboard!?!? So on average, there were 1 cabin attendant serving 3.33 passengers (slightly more if the crew numbers include the pilots). I hope the passenger numbers is a typo. Otherwise JAL is in some deeper trouble than I expect. No wonder they have to cut their International capacity by 10%. I wouldn't be surprised if JL653 be one of them.

Source: The Mainichi Daily News


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