Panel falls from aircraft, smashes into car in Japan

A panel from a KLM Boeing 777 fell off the plane and hit a car in the city of Osaka, on Sept 23, 2017.
A panel from a KLM Boeing 777 fell off the plane and hit a car in the city of Osaka, on Sept 23, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - A panel weighing 4.3kg fell from a plane shortly after take-off from a Japanese airport and smashed the window of a car being driven below, news reports and the airline said on Sunday (Sept 24).

No one was injured but aviation authorities will send safety inspectors to the western city of Osaka to investigate, said national broadcaster NHK.

The piece fell on the vehicle shortly after the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777 with 321 passengers on board took off from Kansai International Airport bound for Amsterdam on Saturday.

The panel damaged the car's roof and broke its rear window, NHK said.

The panel, 0.6m long and 1m wide, is made of composite materials and fell from the base of the right wing, Kyodo News said.

It is believed to have fallen at an altitude of 2,400m or higher.

KLM said the aircraft landed safely at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Saturday afternoon.

"KLM regrets this incident and has immediately launched an investigation into the causes," it said in a statement, adding that it is in close contact with Japanese aviation authorities and Boeing.