JAL unveils mask retrieved from site of 1985 crash site

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JAL unveils mask retrieved from site of 1985 crash site

TOKYO Japan Airlines Co. JAL unveiled an oxygen mask that was retrieved from the site of the JAL jumbo crash in east Japan in 1985, which killed 520 passengers and crew members, as it prepared to mark the 37th anniversary of the tragedy.

The mask, believed to be from the fated Flight 123, was found on June 24 on Mount Osutaka in Gunma Prefecture, in an area called Sugenosawa, where many of the victims were found after the crash on August 12, 1985, according to the airline company.

A construction worker found the mask during restoration work on a road that partially gave way in when Typhoon Hagibis hit the area in 2019. The road leads to the starting point of a trail up Mount Osutaka. When the mask was dug up from the ground by a shovel loader, it had no major damage, with its tube and other parts still attached. JAL said it was not known whether the mask had been used by a passenger or crew member at the time.

An engine component was discovered near the Sugenosawa area on July 17 last year. A JAL employee found the steel component, about 20 centimeters in diameter, lying on the ground.

The airline said it is likely that both the engine part and the oxygen mask were exposed during the landslides triggered by the 2019 typhoon. JAL will look into putting the items on display at the Safety Promotion Center in the future.

Hiroaki Sakai, an official at JAL's safety promotion headquarters, said these discovered components appeared as if they are delivering a message to us regarding whether we are exerting our efforts for safety. We will brace ourselves to address safety again.