A Japan Airlines jet collided with a Coast Guard plane on Tuesday evening while landing at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, causing a fiery crash that killed five people on the Coast Guard plane.

Everyone on the commercial jet made it off alive, but the collision was still a shocking break in an otherwise unblemished safety record for air travel in Japan over the last several decades.

Japan hasn’t seen a deadly plane crash in nearly 40 years.

The last one was in 1985, when a Japan Airlines plane crashed and killed 505 passengers and 15 crew members, causing ridership to plummet in the months after.

On August 12, 1985, Flight 123 was 12 minutes into its trip from Haneda Airport to Osaka when the rear bulkhead at the back of the plane loudly exploded, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

That explosion started a chain reaction that broke the pilots’ controls, severing their hydraulics.

The pilots were able to keep the barely controllable plane airborne for another 30 minutes, despite “severe” swerving by the aircraft, the FAA said.

But ultimately, the flight crashed into a remote mountainside in Gunma Prefecture, according to the FAA.

Japan’s transport ministry revealed in 1987 that a faulty repair on the aircraft seven years before had ultimately caused the catastrophic malfunction.

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of the incident is just how long it took rescuers to reach the crash site: 14 hours, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Just four passengers survived the crash.

Some have speculated that if the rescuers had reached the wreckage sooner, more people would have survived, Popular Mechanics reported.

One survivor, 26-year-old Yumi Ochiai, later said, according to Popular Mechanics, “After the crash, I heard harsh panting and gasping noises from many people. I hear it coming from everywhere, all around me. There was a boy crying ‘mother.’ I clearly heard a young woman saying ‘Come quickly!'”

But by the time crews arrived, it was too late.

In the months after the tragedy, JAL’s ridership and revenue tanked.

The New York Times reported in November 1985 that the number of domestic passengers flying JAL dropped 26.3% in September and 34.5% in part of October. By November, the company was also predicted to earn $72 million less for the year than was expected before the crash, the outlet reported.

Japan Airlines was battered after the tragedy. Yasumoto Takagi, the airline’s president stepped down, and two employees died by suicide soon after the crash, the Associated Press reported at the time. The company also agreed to give out the equivalent of $7.6 million to the victims’ families — but didn’t admit any fault.

The latest deadly incident involving Japan Air Lines happened Tuesday when a JAL plane landing at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport crashed into a Japanese Coast Guard plane on the runway that was preparing to take off.

The collision killed five of the six people on the smaller Coast Guard plane, while all 367 commercial jet passengers and crew were able to escape the plane before it burst into flames.

Experts told Business Insider that safety tech and training likely saved lives on the Japan Airlines flights.

Categorized in: