China Airlines Jet Explodes Into Balls Of Flame On Runway

A China Airlines Jet exploded into flames after landing on a Japanese runway this morning, shortly after all 120 passengers scurried to safety.

China Airlines has the worst safety record for its region, with an accident rate of 4.59%

Taiwan airliner explodes at Japanese airport [MSNBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. umbriago says:

    Plus all that lead paint burning! Japan is going to be pissed.

  2. Swifty says:

    So…it’s become the Chinese Poison Plane?

    Glad no one was hurt.

  3. raybury says:

    FTA: Boeing 737-800. And were it a plane made in the land China Airlines serves, it would be stamped “Made in Taiwan.”

  4. gibsonic says:

    Though this is a Boeing aircraft, Made in the USA, aircraft and other complex products are as good as their maintenance.

    If were a systematic problem with all Boeing aircraft we would have 737’s blowing up all over the place, not just a China Airlines plane.

  5. Omniboy says:

    The video says 165 people, consumerist says 120… which is right?

  6. Pelagius says:

    China Airlines has one of the worst accident rates in the world. Fly at your own risk.

  7. timmus says:

    Wow — amazing that everybody got out just in time. I’d say the emergency procedures and passenger safety design really paid off here.

  8. lestat730 says:

    Holy sh*t those people are very lucky, it’s amazing no one was even hurt.

  9. rickspeaks says:

    Am I wrong to think that the ride down the slide looked somewhat fun?

  10. letoofdune says:

    Yeah, Taiwan Air aka China Airlines has a pretty shoddy safety record.

    Accident record (from Wiki)

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    Unconfirmed reports cite a group of enraged American cats boarding the plane before the event, with litte, tiny – but so cute! – suicide bomber vests. Linguistic experts say that before the explosion, the TerrorCats mewled, “Eat THIS, poisonboy,” “Death to import murderers,” and “Did someone hear a can opening?!”

  12. humorbot says:

    See that “Made in China” tag is funny because of course the airline was a Boeing 737, and China Airlines is a Taiwanese carrier. They love being mistaken for mainland China.

    Isn’t it the responsibility of site like Consumerist not to jump on the mainstream news hysteria train?

  13. Roundonbothends says:

    Not exactly “Made in China.” How about Evandale, OH and Le Bourget, France? CFM56 engines are made by a partnership of Snecma France and GE Aerospace. In fact, these engines are all the company produces.

  14. gibsonic says:


    even my amazing toyota motor will eventually blow up if i don’t change the oil.

    maintenance is the culprit here, i assure you.

  15. Onouris says:


    But then they wouldn’t start flame wars!

  16. Onouris says:


    Oh yeah, and it also wouldn’t feed the propaganda train!

  17. Hawkins says:

    Perhaps we should take moment to thank the flight attendants, since this is what they train for.

  18. readams says:

    The 4.59% accident rating cited in the article is completely wrong and way inflated. If you look at the referenced web site, it means that China Airlines had 4.59 more accidents than the “average airline” per million flights.

    Note that this was fairly obvious by the fact that a number of airlines have negative numbers in that column, and unless you believe in reincarnation, it should be obvious that this number is not a percentage.

  19. NickRB says:

    This news report is completely unfair and very sensationalist. The airplane appeared to be fine. In fact, the ENGINE IS NOT MADE BY BOEING AND IS SELECTED BY THE CARRIER. If an engine blows up, it’s not the air frame manufacturer’s fault at all. IN FACT it looks like that BOEING 737 saved hundreds of lives by absorbing the impact from that engines eruption. Secondly, even if the engine exploded, the chances that it is the fault of the engine maker are very low. GE and Rolls Royce, who are big airplane engine manufacturers, make an extremely high quality product that tend to have almost no problems, UNTIL the carrier fails to properly maintain them.

    Often, especially in CHINA fake parts are used to repair aircraft and engines resulting in these problems. I am willing to bet that once the investigation is completed on this incident, we will see that it is not the fault of either the plane or engine manufacturer.

  20. shepd says:

    Flight 120, 165 people safely deplaned (it’s still a dumb word).

  21. theWolf says:

    I guess they had to serve roasted peanuts on that flight.

  22. kimsama says:

    Considering China Airlines’ history, I’m fairly certain that it will come to light that this was a maintenance issue.

    At least everyone got to safety because it blew up on the ground, unlike other China Airlines flights!

  23. homerjay says:

    Layer some chicken fingers, beef teriaki, and crab rangoon around that thing and you’ve got one hell of a pu pu platter!

  24. gilman says:

    before I started to travel a lot for work, the old hands in the company gave me a piece of advice. Avoid any airline with the word china or russia in their name.

    Still holds true today.

  25. anatak says:

    This never would have happened if it were all Chinese made as the entire fuselage would have been made from solid asbestos, then covered in lead paint.

    I’m sure their government will refuse the next shipment of these American deathtraps.

  26. iKnow says:

    Why is it one way or another it is always China’s fault? Now that the product was made in America, it’s not the manufacturer’s fault, but the maitenance? and is it China or Taiwan Airlines?? 120 or 165 people? maybe people really need to get their facts straight first before posting or making ignorant comments.

  27. iKnow says:

    @gibsonic: when was the last time a 737 blew up at all? I’m sure this is a rare occurrence, exaggerated once again my the media in an attempt to China bash. Why don’t people realize that the government is turning China into America’s scapegoat?

  28. So does this effect the sub-5% accident rate? Does your plane exploding nudge it a few more points than, say, a leaky toilet? I would hope so.

  29. BrockBrockman says:

    Yeah, I just wanted to pop into the comments section to see how many people were going to jump the gun and blame China for this.

  30. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    Good thing the pilot got out safe. I’m sure when he gets back to China he will be excuted for being a deficient member of society who has caused shame for the great nation of China.

  31. relaxing_dragon says:

    What’s with all the China jokes? The airline involved is China Airlines, not Air China, this belongs to a country commonly known as Taiwan, correctly labeled as such in the caption. It is unlikely that the Pilot has ever or will ever set foot in China. History lesson anyone?

  32. esqdork says:

    1. China Airlines is a Taiwanese carrier (and has a checkered safety history).
    2. Taiwan is the Republic of China and although the People’s Republic of China diputes this, Taiwan is a different country than the Consumerist whipping-boy.
    3. Although the Chinese as a culture eat some strange things, widespread cat-eating is a myth ([]).
    4. Everyone made it off the plane alive–thank goodnes. The last massive accident involving an airplane occurred in Brazil in which everyone perished. My point being that it would be super-neat for people to dial down the xenophobia.

  33. DingoDigger says:

    OK, there are several things that people need to keep in mind.

    There is an Air China, and a China Air. Air China is run by the People’s Republic of China. China Air is run by the Republic of China, also known as Taiwan. The People’s Republic of China is Communist and where all the poisoned stuff is coming from. The Republic of China is not.

    There is a difference, and if you can’t bother to distinguish the two, you shouldn’t be reporting the news.

  34. Gesualdo says:

    Is Consumerist (and the whole Gawker network, for that matter) really so desperate for pageviews that it can’t/won’t embed movies on the front page? As a user, I find it incredibly annoying to click what appears to be an embedded movie only to go to a separate page where I have to click it again. Frustrations like this will cost you visitors.

  35. Pelagius says:

    @esqdork: The confusion between PRC and ROC is annoying, but it is indisputable that China Airlines (neither Air China or China Air) has an abysmal safety record.

  36. Nytmare says:

    @DingoDigger: up. that clearing for Thanks

  37. gibsonic says:

    old US slogan
    “Blame Canada”

    new US slogan
    “Blame China”

  38. notallcompaniesarebad says:

    “China Airlines has the worst safety record for its region, with an accident rate of 4.59%”
    That is FLAT OUT WRONG. Yes, they have the worst rating, but the idea that there is an accident 5% of the time is INSANE. PLEASE READ THINGS CAREFULLY. Here is the calculation:
    The Accident Rate is calculated as follows:

    Accident Rate = (actual number of accidents – expected number of accidents) or

    Accident Rate = D – (A *(B/C))

    A = number of million flights completed by the airline
    B = sum of fatal events for all airlines
    C = sum of million flights for all airlines
    D = adjusted fatal events

    The Adjusted Fatal Event is calculated as follows:

    The actual “fatal events” is adjusted upward or downward depending on what percentage of people are killed in each accident. The calculation of “D” or Adjusted Fatal Events is illustrated in the following example.

    An airline has 3 fatal accidents:
    In the first accident 120 out of 120 passengers are killed.
    In the second accident 75 out of 150 passengers are killed.
    In the third accident 5 out of 200 passengers are killed.

    120/120 = 1
    75/150 = 0.5
    5/200 = 0.025

    Instead of 3 fatal events for D in the formula above, 1 + 0.5 + 0.025 or 1.525 is used.

  39. ChristopherDavis says:

    @NickRB: The 737 series doesn’t have engine options; for the original -100 and -200 versions, you got the P&W JT8D. The -300 and later use the CFM56 family.

    So the engine choice was actually made by Boeing.

  40. bossco says:

    Coming soon from China; “Exploding Thomas The Tank Engine”

  41. BrockBrockman says:

    *shakes head at people still bashing China over this one*

  42. humorbot says:

    @BrockBrockman: What’s that? You expect people to read the comments before commenting themselves?

  43. golfinggiraffe says:

    @humorbot: Yeah it’s a novel concept, isn’t it?

  44. Blueskylaw says:

    Leaded gas instead of kerosene?