MIAMI – An aircraft of the Philippine charter LionAir carrying medical supplies burst into flames today at Manila airport while taking off, killing all passengers.

On the Tokyo bound flight, eight passenger, including the pilot and two crew members, a doctor, a nurse and a flight medic plus two American and Canadian passengers, were reported all dead, according to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Airport statement

As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Philippine health department used flight 5880 as an air ambulance to go from NAIA to Haneda Airport (HND).

The airport is conducting an investigation as it closed runway 24, where the aircraft operated before the “enormous” fire. It was reported that the Philippine Red Cross attended to the crash.

On its part, LionAir has contracts with the government to operate air ambulances to transport health supplies and personnel as part of the Philippine’s anti-coronavirus program.