• Kyodo

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Senior officials of Japan Airlines Domestic Co. visited the Fukuoka Prefectural Government on Monday to apologize for an incident last week in which a subsidiary’s jetliner blew an engine after takeoff and showered the city of Fukuoka with metal fragments.

JALways Co.-operated Flight JO58, a DC-10 with 229 people on board, departed Fukuoka airport Friday night bound for Honolulu, only to double back after the trijet’s port engine burst into flames. No one on board was injured, but a handful of youngsters who had been playing soccer sustained minor injuries when they were hit by falling debris or tried to handle the hot metal pieces.

On Monday, Shigeru Kayaba, head of Kyushu regional operations at JAL Domestic, and other executives met with Fukuoka Gov. Wataru Aso and apologized for the incident.

“We are sorry for the problems we caused to the residents of the prefecture and other parties concerned,” Kayaba said. “We hope to discover the cause of the problem as quickly as possible and secure safe operations.”

The governor responded by saying the prefecture considers the incident grave, underlining his concern that fragments fell in a residential area.

Aso later took issue with the fact that the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry decided not to dispatch inspectors from the Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Commission to look into Friday’s incident.

“The airport is located in the middle of the city,” he told reporters after inspecting the field where the injured youngsters had been playing. “The (ministry’s) idea that it was not a serious accident is extremely strange.”

According to JAL’s explanation to the prefecture, it received reports that five people were injured, of whom three did not require treatment.

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