Engine smoke forces evacuation of JAL plane in snow

TOKYO – More than 160 passengers and crew slid down emergency chutes in swirling snow Tuesday after engine smoke forced a Japan Airlines domestic flight to abort takeoff and smoke entered the cabin, Japanese media reported.

National broadcaster NHK showed video of the passengers evacuating and then gathering on the snow-covered tarmac at New Chitose Airport, which serves the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island.

At least four passengers were injured during the evacuation and taken to a hospital, Kyodo News agency said, citing rescue officials.

Kyodo said that the engine stalled after sucking in snow, and that there was an explosive sound when a pilot restarted it.

The Boeing 737 with 159 passengers and six crew members was bound for Fukuoka in southern Japan.