Date: August 12, 1985
Fatalities: 520

The largest single aircraft accident in history was the crash of a Boeing 747 into Mount Takamagahara in central Japan. Just four survived when the aircraft spiralled out of control, its wing clipping a mountain ridge, before flipping and landing on its back, following an explosive decompression towards the rear of the plane, the result of a faulty repair job seven years earlier.

Pilots were able to keep the plane in the air for 32 minutes after the mechancial failure - a time that has not been matched repeating the scenario in flight simulators since - before crashing into a mountain.

Today, there is a shrine on the mountain dedicated to the crash, as well as a museum opened by the airlines that includes last letters and notes written by passengers to loved ones, to which all staff must visit.

Though four passengers were able to survive, all female and sat in the middle of rows towards the rear of the aircraft, some concluded that more could have been saved had the wreckage been reached quicker by rescuers, and the offer of assistance from a nearby US base been accepted.

A month after the crash a Japan Airlines maintenance official committed suicide, leaving a note, “I am atoning with my death”.

Please join our telegram group for more such stories and updates.telegram channel