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Boeing 737-800 exploded in Japan, 157 passengers left unhurt

Charred remains of an exploded Boeing 737-800A plane belonging to Taiwan's China Airlines caught fire soon after landing on Japan's southern island of Okinawa today.

The Boeing 737-800 plane, which had just arrived from Taipei, was already being evacuated when the left engine exploded, ripping the plane apart, officials and witnesses said.

"I saw several passengers evacuate from the plane using a chute. After a minute or so, I heard the sound of an explosion. It was a big explosion," said Tadahiro Hasuo, who told NHK he felt the heat of the blast while passing the airport in a taxi.

The charred remains of the plane lay broken on the tarmac near the terminal after the flames were extinguished, an hour after the explosion.

The nose of the plane sagged on its side, while the tail - emblazoned with the airline's pink plum blossom symbol - was intact at the other end.

In between, the blackened remains of the interior could be seen, with much of the roof of the plane gone.

Early investigations raised the possibility that leaking fuel may have caught fire.

Fortunately, all passengers were left unhurt when they escaped before the plane exploded. But one member of the ground crew had been injured, Kyodo news agency reported.

Two more pictures after the jump.

Charred remains of an exploded Boeing 737-800
Charred remains of an exploded Boeing 737-800
Video: YouTube
Source: Daily Telegraph & CNN

Update: A video of the plane exploding just moments after the last passengers fled.

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