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China Airlines plane bursts into flames at Okinawa airport

China Airlines Flight 120 was a regularly scheduled flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan County (now Taoyuan City), Taiwan to Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan. On August 20, 2007, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft operating the flight caught fire and exploded after landing and taxiing to the gate area at Naha Airport. Four people (three from the aircraft and one ground crew) sustained injuries in the accident.

The cause of the accident was investigated by the Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission of Japan. The crew, as confirmed by the recording in the cockpit voice recorder, did not observe any abnormalities before the incident.

The investigating team confirmed that the aircraft caught fire in the gate area and there was no sign of fuel leakage during taxiing to the gate. The investigation focused on the possibility that a fuel leak led to the fire. At a news conference on August 24, investigators revealed that a bolt, which had come loose from the slat track, had punctured the right wing fuel tank, creating a hole 2–3 centimetres in diameter.

 
Last updated January 5, 2016
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