Published: Fri, September 28, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Air Niugini plane crashes into Micronesian lagoon

Air Niugini plane crashes into Micronesian lagoon

A flotilla of small boats has rescued more than 40 people from an Air Niugini plane that crashed into a lagoon in the South Pacific nation of Micronesia.

An Air Niugini plane has overshot a runway in Micronesia and plunged into the sea, with all passengers and crew reported to be safe, according to airport officials.

Photographs and videos posted on Twitter show locals helping passengers into boats beside the stricken half submerged plane.

Jimmy Emilio, general manager of Chuuk Airport at Weno in Micronesia, told Reuters news agency the cause of the accident was unclear.

These were split between 36 passengers and 11 crew members.

An Air Niugini passenger plane was sinking in the ocean on September 28 after the plane landed before reaching the air strip at Chuuk Airport in Micronesia.

Bill Jaynes, editor of The Kaselehlie Press in Pohnpei - another island in the vast western Pacific archipelago - was aboard the flight.

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"It's really fortunate that we didn't have any fatalities", said Glenn Harris, a government aviation security inspector for the Federated States of Micronesia.

Air Niugini is Papua New Guinea's leading airline.

The lagoon where the plane landed was not believed to be far from land, and a number of small boats were now part of the rescue.

John Merelli, who works at the High Tide Hotel close to the airport, said he heard the plane coming in to land.

Air Niugini said in a statement the airline is "making all efforts" to look after the passengers and crew.

The typical passengers would be business people from Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia, Harris said, as well as some tourists.

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