Investigators begin interviewing Japan Coast Guard captain over Haneda collision

NHK has learned that government investigators have begun interviewing the captain of a Japan Coast Guard plane who was severely injured in a collision at Tokyo's Haneda Airport early this month.

In the accident on January 2, a Japan Airlines passenger jet collided with a coast guard aircraft on the runway immediately after the jetliner touched down.

All 379 people aboard the JAL plane managed to evacuate. The coast guard plane had six people on board. The captain was the only one who survived.

Sources say the Japan Transport Safety Board began interviewing the injured captain last Thursday, after he was transferred from the intensive care unit to the hospital's general ward.

Investigators suspect the coast guard plane had mistakenly entered the runway, while the JAL jet and air traffic controllers were unaware of the move.

The Transport Safety Board is also interviewing the JAL pilots, cabin attendants and traffic controllers to find out how the accident occurred. The voice and flight recorders recovered from both aircraft are being analyzed as well.