Micronesia plane crash: Man declared missing - one day after aircraft sinks

One man is missing after a plane crashed into a Pacific lagoon in Micronesia.


The Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 plane hit the water while trying to land at Chuuk Island airport in the Micronesia archipelago on Friday.


Initially, the airline had said all 47 passengers and crew had managed to evacuate the sinking aircraft safely - but on Saturday afternoon, it confirmed that one passenger was unaccounted for.


His age and nationality is unknown, but Air Niugini says it is working with local authorities, hospitals and investigators to try and find him.




The Air Niugini plane overshot a runway in Micronesia and ended up in the ocean

Footage has emerged of US navy sailors embarking on a rescue mission in the aftermath of the plane crash - using an inflatable boat to shuttle people ashore before the plane sank in about 100ft (30m) of water.


The clip shows sailors using the aircraft's right wing as a makeshift mooring for the boat. The rescuers entered the plane via its emergency door, and some of the men were wearing swimming shorts and goggles.


They waded through waist-deep water in the flooded cabin in search of survivors, ensuring everyone had gotten out safely.


After making the short journey back to the inflatable dinghy by carefully walking on the wing, just below the water's surface, one rescuer said: "They got everybody!"




Rescue operation in Micronesia around crashed plane in Pacific lagoon

Following the crash on Friday, officials said that seven people had been taken to hospital.


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It added that six of them, all in a stable condition, remained at the hospital on Saturday.


The cause of 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.




Boats and locals come to the rescue of all passengers and crew from a plane which crashed into a Micronesia lagoon

Some witnesses thought the plane overshot the runway.


Bill Jaynes, one of the passengers, said the plane came in very low.


He said: "I thought we landed hard. 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."


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Air Niugini is the national airline of Papua New Guinea and has operated since 1973.


According to data from the Aviation Safety Network, 111 people have died in crashes of Papua New Guinea-registered airlines in the past two decades, though none involved Air Niugini.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 30, 2018 14:27

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