For one passenger aboard the airliner that collided with a Japan coast guard plane at a Tokyo airport, the first inkling something was wrong came when he felt a very “warm sensation” on the left side of his face.
Anton Deibe said his Japan Airlines flight was seconds away from landing at Haneda Airport when he first noticed it.
“I look to the left, and I see flames all over the windows, and the plane starts to shake and all the lights turn dark and everyone starts screaming in Japanese and I can’t understand anything,” he said in a video diary obtained by NBC News.
Seconds later, the 17-year-old Swedish tourist — along with 366 other passengers and a dozen crew members — were clambering off the plane through choking black smoke and running for their lives as flames consumed the airliner they had just been on.
Five people on the coast guard plane, which had been bound for an earthquake-ravaged corner of Japan at the time of the crash, died.
Aviation expert John Cox told NBC News that the Japan Airlines plane was an Airbus A350, which seats about 380 people. He said that in an emergency like this “you want to get them out within 90 seconds.”
Cox credited the crew for getting everybody off the plane in time, and praised the passengers for following their instructions.
“This is the way you do it,” he said. “You follow the instructions, go to the exit you get on the slide and you get away from the aircraft and that’s what happened here. And that’s why it was so successful.”
Deibe, who said his parents and sister were also on the flight, said when he first felt the heat on his face, “my first thought was that maybe we had hit a bird.”
A woman interviewed by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, known as NHK, also thought the plane had struck a bird.
“After landing, there was this loud bang,” the woman, who was not identified by name, said in an interview translated by NBC News. “At first I thought it was a bird strike or something, and then I thought that something big had happened because of the fire.”
Deibe said that “the plane continued to shake and then we touched down on the ground” before screeching to a stop.
Looking outside the window, Deibe said he saw “the black smoke everywhere.”
“And then it felt like an eternity,” he said.
Deibe said he could see fire trucks and soon they were spraying water on the plane he was on.
“But the fire only grew,” he said. “And the black smoke started to infiltrate the cabin. And it started to rise and goes across in the roof of the cabin. And you had a hard time breathing.”
The woman interviewed by NHK said “the cabin attendants kept saying, ‘Please remain calm'” but some of the passengers were panicking.
“The cabin was dark, and the fire was getting bigger and bigger and the cabin was getting hotter and hotter,” she said. “Honestly, I thought we’re not going to survive this.”
An unidentified man interviewed by NHK said “the cabin was full of smoke.”
“The fire was getting stronger and stronger, and the smoke was getting bigger and bigger, and I thought, ‘This is really bad’,” he said.
Deibe said he took off his hoodie and covered his face with it.
“And then, after a while, they finally opened the doors and everyone ran out,” he said. “And then you had to jump out of the plane.”
Deibe said he had just had arm surgery last week “so that was quite a challenge.”
“And then we ran out onto a grass field and we just continue running and running,” he said. “And then I remember looking back and just seeing this plane I just sat on completely destroyed by fires.”
Deibe said just about everything he’d brought with him to Japan was lost to the flames.
“I only have my outfit that I’m currently wearing left,” he said. “It was an awful experience. Really, really, terrible.”
But, Deibe said, his family is safe.
“We just arrived at a hotel,” he said. “And the taxi was paid for by the Japanese airline.”
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com