More than 150 passengers used escape slides to evacuate from a Japan Airlines jet after engine trouble apparently caused smoke to flow into the cabin during a snowstorm, the airline said.
Flight 3512, a Boeing 737, was preparing to depart from New Chitose Airport serving near Sapporo to Fukuoka when the incident occurred around 3 p.m. Tuesday, the airline said.
According to a JAL spokesman, the aircraft was heading to the runway when it was ordered back to the terminal due to heavy snow.
It was then that the pilot reported engine trouble and smoke appeared in the cabin, prompting the emergency evacuation, although it was unclear if the engine problem was linked to the smoke.
“A strange odor and smoke were detected inside the cabin,” the JAL spokesman said.
Smoke was coming from the aircraft’s right engine as the aircraft was waiting to take off, according to the airline and the transport ministry.
According to police investigating the accident, the engine stalled after taking in snow and there was an explosive sound when a pilot restarted it.
All 159 passengers and six crew evacuated onto the tarmac, the airline said.
Fire department officials said three female passengers suffered pains in their lower back and wrists caused by exiting the plane on emergency chutes and a male passenger complained about health problems after the evacuation. All were taken to a hospital.
Original article can be found here: http://www.japantimes.co.jp