Plane crashes at same spot in Elmina, 46 years later

17 Aug 2023 09:24pm
Japan Airlines Flight 715 crashed at Elmina Estate in 1977
Japan Airlines Flight 715 crashed at Elmina Estate in 1977

SHAH ALAM - Today's plane crash at Elmina housing estate in Section U16, here that killed ten individuals has brought back memories of an earlier crash in the same area.

The first catastrophy took place on Sept 27, 1977 involving Japan Airlines Flight 715 that claimed 34 lives.

During that incident, 26 passengers and eight crew members lost their lives.

The ill-fated Japan Airlines Flight 715 crashed into a hill during a thunderstorm at Estet Elmina, which was then a rubber plantation.

The McDonnell Douglas DC-8 aircraft with 69 passengers and 10 crew members were suppose to land at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang before heading to Singapore.

There were 29 Japanese passengers on board the flight.

The aircraft departed from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to Changi International Airport in Singapore and then landed at Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong.

Two hours after takeoff, the air traffic control at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport informed Japan Airlines Flight 715 to initiate landing on runway 15.

However, the aircraft decended below the minimum altitude of 750 feet, crashing into the side of a hill which was about 6.44 kilometers from the airport.

You may also like:

The aircraft was damaged due to the impact of the crash.

The investigation report from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said poor weather was reported around the airport and the aircraft was on a high-frequency omnidirectional radio range navigation system for the approach.

In the 1977, Japan Airlines incident, Maria Jean Burkhart was the youngest survivor. Decades later, she met R Nadeswaran, the reporter who had rescued her during the crash near Subang airport.

Burkhart was three years old when Nadeswaran, now a columnist, carried her to safety.

Their emotional reunion highlights the fragility of life.

Burkhart, a nurse in the US expressed her gratitude for being saved by a "good and upstanding man."

For Nadeswaran meeting Burkhart was similar to a newfound father meeting his daughter, cherishing the reunion after their lives intertwined during the plane crash incident.