JAL flight makes emergency landing due to engine trouble

A Japan Airlines flight bound for New York made an emergency landing at a Tokyo airport on Tuesday due to engine trouble, the company said.

The Boeing 777 carrying 233 passengers and 18 crew took off from Tokyo's Haneda airport at 11:00 am (0200 GMT) but returned to land safely an hour later.

The company had earlier said a bird strike could have been the cause of the incident, but later said it had found no evidence to support the theory.

"We did not find any trace that indicates a bird strike," a JAL spokesman told AFP. "We're still investigating what caused the engine trouble."

Private broadcaster TBS showed footage of one of the plane's engines catching fire as it took off.

"Right after taking off, we heard five bangs and the plane shook," a 57-year-old passenger told public broadcaster NHK after landing.

"But all the passengers were calm," he said.

"I was nervous at first. I'm glad we were able to come back safely," said a 17-year-old high school student.

A land ministry official said a grass field next to one of the four runways briefly caught fire after the JAL jet departed but was soon extinguished.

"We closed this runway as there may be some parts that dropped from the plane," he said.

The airline said there was no damage to the plane's structure or injuries to passengers or crew. No major delays were caused by the incident.

Haneda - officially known as Tokyo International Airport - is the world's fifth-busiest airport, according to Airports Council International, handling more than 75 million passengers each year.