Airline now says 1 missing after Pacific lagoon plane crash

2018-09-29 07:52

The airline operating a flight that crashed into a Pacific lagoon on Friday in Micronesia now says one man is missing, after earlier saying all 47 passengers and crew had safely evacuated the sinking plane.

Air Niugini said in a release that as of Saturday afternoon, it was unable to account for a male passenger. The airline said it was working with local authorities, hospitals and investigators to try to find the man.

The airline did not immediately respond to requests for more details about the passenger, such as his age or nationality.

Local boats helped rescue the other passengers and crew after the plane hit the water while trying to land at the Chuuk Island airport.

Officials said on Friday that seven people had been taken to a hospital. The airline said six passengers remained at the hospital on Saturday, and all of them were in stable condition.

What caused the crash and the exact sequence of events remains unclear. The airline and the US Navy both said the plane landed in the lagoon short of the runway. Some witnesses thought the plane overshot the runway.

Passenger Bill Jaynes said the plane came in very low.

"I thought we landed hard," he said. "Until I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane and water was coming in. And I thought, well, this is not the way it's supposed to happen."

Jaynes said he and others managed to wade through waist-deep water to the emergency exits on the sinking plane. He said the flight attendants were panicking and yelling, and that he suffered a minor head injury.

"I was really impressed with the locals who immediately started coming out in boats," Jaynes said in an interview with a missionary in Chuuk, Matthew Colson, that was posted online and shared with the AP.

The US Navy said sailors working nearby on improving a wharf also helped in the rescue by using an inflatable boat to shuttle people ashore before the plane sank in about 30m of water.

Air Niugini is the national airline of Papua New Guinea and has operated since 1973. Data from the Aviation Safety Network indicates 111 people have died in crashes of PNG-registered airlines in the past two decades, but none involved Air Niugini.


Read more on:    oceania  |  air crashes  |  aviation

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.