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Thursday, August 12, 2010

25th anniversary of the JL123 accident

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the world's most deadly single-aircraft accidents. A quarter of century ago, due to faulty repair conducted by Boeing, Japan Airlines (JAL) flight 123 lost control and crashed into Ridge of Osutaka at 6:56PM. 524 passengers and crew members were killed. Only 4 people survived this accident.

Even with occasional rain, more than 300 bereaved relatives and friends headed for the crash site to offer prayers for their loved ones. Some of the them also floated lanterns with message to the deceased on the Kanna River. JAL President Masaru Onishi and Transport Minister Seiji Maehara also visited the crash site today. It is the first time a state minister visited the crash site on the anniversary. Onishi was heavily involved in the aftermath of the JL123 accident. He supported the medical teams to identify victims' body parts after the accident. He said with tears in his eyes that the Osutaka is still JAL's fundamental standpoint of safeness and he pledged JAL operations would be safe in front of the monument.

Let's hope JAL learned from its past and avoid any type of accidents in the future and always put flight safety as their top priority even though they are going through a painful restructure.

Sources:
Japan Today: Relatives of 1985 jet crash victims mark 25th anniversary
Japan Today: Memories of 1985 crash keeping JAL focused on safety
The Japan Times: Kin mark 25th anniversary of JAL jumbo crash

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