Jal 123 (03:26)
A Boeing 747 crashed into the side of the Japanese Alps on August 12, 1985. Of the 524 people on the flight, only four survived. The plane was manufactured in the United States and George Seidlein of the National Transportation Safety Board went to Japan to assist in the investigation.
Investigation of Jal 123 (02:40)
The Japanese and American teams began looking into the cause of the accident. The pilot had radioed about problems with the cargo door and a loss of hydraulics. The cultural differences between the two teams made it hard to move quickly.
Survivors of Jal 123 (02:41)
One of the four survivors was off-duty flight attendant Yumi Ochiai, whose eyewitness account helped the investigation. The crash site was still closed off to Seidlein and his team, but grieving family members and Japanese journalists were permitted to visit.
Criminality of Jal 123 (05:14)
Marxist terrorists claimed responsibility for the crash, which got the police involved in the investigation. The Japanese investigators did not follow the United Nations guidelines about sharing information about aviation accidents. After two days, the American investigators were told they were not needed by the Japanese.
Jal 123 Crash Site (05:14)
Fishermen found part of the tail, which showed a rush of air forced its way outward during the explosion. Amid media pressure, Seidlein and the American investigators were allowed to go to the mountain.
Jal 123's Bulkhead (03:29)
The plane's bulkhead had been damaged in a bad landing seven years before the accident. Boeing designed a repair for it, but it had not been carried out properly. Two rows of rivets were missing from a connective piece.
American and Japanese Relations (05:35)
The failure of both teams delayed the investigation of Jal 123. Years later it was revealed that American soldiers on a training exercise heard distress calls from the plane, but were told to return to base. Japanese rescuers did not arrive until 12 hours later.
Credits: Disaster: Series 3: Jal 123 - A Japanese Tragedy (00:31)
Credits: Disaster: Series 3: Jal 123 - A Japanese Tragedy
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