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Fire at Taoyuan airport: Tractor towing JAL jet bursts into flames

Pushback tractor pulling a JAL plane at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport caught on fire late last night

Firefighters at scene of blaze.

Firefighters at scene of blaze. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A pushback tractor towing a Japan Airlines (JAL) jet caught fire late last night (Dec. 20) at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport, reported Apple Daily.

After arriving at Taoyuan airport 9:31 p.m. last night from Tokyo, the crew of JAL flight JT-809 packed it in for a overnight stay in Taipei. As a ground crew member was towing the Boeing 767 aircraft to an overnight ramp at approximately 10:50 p.m., smoke suddenly appeared from the back of the pushback tractor.

The driver immediately contacted the airport's fire department and then tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire with a handheld fire extinguisher. Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control within 10 minutes and no injuries were reported.

When white smoke first started rising from the vehicle, the driver thought it was caused by oil dripping on the exhaust pipe, and did not expect that it was an actual fire at first. Fortunately, fire crews were close on hand to quickly extinguish the blaze.

Fire at Taoyuan airport: Tractor towing JAL jet bursts into flames
Location of fire in pushback tractor. (CNA image)

It is not yet known whether the fire damaged the fuselage of the JAL jet. Civil Aviation authorities will inspect the aircraft and investigate the cause of the fire. The plane is currently grounded until further notice.

Updated : 2021-12-03 18:28 GMT+08:00