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Investigators Believe Bolt Pierced Fuel Tank of Taiwan Jet


Japanese investigators believe a bolt that pierced the fuel tank of a Taiwan passenger jet may have caused it to burst into flames after it landed in Okinawa earlier this week.

The accident's chief investigator, Kazushige Daiki, told reporters Thursday that a bolt was found in the charred remains of the passenger jet that was flown by Taiwan's China Airlines.

Daiki said investigators believe the bolt pierced the plane's fuel tank, causing fuel to gush out. The plane burst into flames shortly after landing at Okinawa's Naha airport on Monday.

It exploded just seconds after 165 people on board escaped using emergency slides.

The close call is another setback for the Taiwan airline, which was already struggling to recover from a poor safety record.

China Airlines has been involved in four deadly accidents in the past 13 years. In 2002, a China Airlines 747 crashed as it flew from Taipei to Hong Kong, killing 225 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.