The plane burst into flames on the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, the capital of the Philippines

By Eric Todisco
March 29, 2020 04:30 PM
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Investigators look on a burnt Lion Air aircraft at Manila's international airport
Credit: FRANCIS R MALASIG/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A Tokyo-bound plane carrying medical supplies to combat the coronavirus pandemic burst into flames as it took off from a Philippines airport Sunday, killing all eight people on board, multiple outlets reported.

One American and one Canadian were among the eight passengers on Lion Air Flight RPC 5880, which was leaving from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, CNN reported.

Senator of the Philippines Richard Gordon, who is also the head of the Philippine Red Cross, said the eight people on board consisted of a flight medic, nurse, doctor, three flight crew, one patient and their companion.

“The airplane caught fire and exploded as it was taking off the NAIA runway 24,” Gordon said on Twitter.

The victims have yet to be publicly identified.

The Philippines Red Cross said on Twitter that a fire truck with seven crew members and two ambulances with seven medical personnel were dispatched to the crash scene.

The Manila International Airport Authority told the New York Times in a statement that the runway had been closed and an investigation into the crash was underway.

Investigators gather around burnt Lion Air plane at Manila's International Airport
Credit: FRANCIS R MALASIG/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The Philippines currently has at least 1,418 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and 71 deaths as of March 29, according to U.S. News.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.