A China Airlines B737 burst into flames at Naha, Okinawa yesterday morning. The aircraft had just arrived on a scheduled flight from Taipei, and passengers were preparing to deplane when the aircraft caught fire. All 157 passengers and eight crew members evacuated the aircraft safely just before it exploded. Congratulations to the cabin crew of China Airlines Flight 120 for managing to evacuate everyone, and with no serious injuries.
China Airlines officials publicly praised the crew, describing them as "heroes," and a spokesman for the Taiwan government's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said, "Based on the information we have gathered, they evacuated all the passengers in accordance with the standard operation procedure, which requires that all passengers be evacuated within 90 seconds in the case of emergency."
Crew members were identified as You Chien-kuo (captain), Tseng Ta-wei (first officer), cabin chief Kang Li-mei, and flight attendants Cheng Hsieh-jer, Fan Jin-yao, Chang Chia-wen, and Hung Kuan-lin, all from Taiwan. Another flight attendant, a Japanese national, was not identified by name.
From The China Post:
[Captain] You thanked his crew, saying "they immediately evacuated all the passengers upon receiving my order."This video of the event shows clearly what a close call it was for all those on board:
"Without them, I would not have the opportunity to stand here to meet you tonight," he said.
You said all he thought about when dealing with the crisis was to make sure that all passengers and crew members were safe.
Only after he saw cabin chief Kang make a safe landing on the ground through an evacuation sliding chute did he order Tseng to quickly get out of the plane.
Television pictures showed Captain You telling the copilot to climb out of the two-story cockpit via rope before doing so himself. Seconds later, the blaze set off a chain of explosions.
If the video does not play or display properly here, you can view "China airlines 737 explodes in Okinawa" on YouTube.
Tip of the hat to YouTube user Hobox72 for posting the video.