Search continues for passenger missing after Air Niugini rescue

Posted October 01, 2018

Passengers of Air Niugini Boeing 737 were on a flight destined for the Chuuk Island Airport in Micronesia when their plane came just short of the runway and launched into the Pacific Ocean.

Sir Kostas Constantinou, Chairman of Air Niugini, said: "It was of great concern to learn [over the weekend] that one of the passengers on the flight was, and still is, unaccounted for".

The men compared headcounts of passengers and crew originally on the plane, and the number who boarded a host of small boats that also raced to the rescue.

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

According to Borja, the Filipinos were on their way to the Philippines for a vacation when their plane crashed in a lagoon short of the runway as it attempted to land in Chuuk Island airport.

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Air Niugini's Boeing 737-800 aircraft P2-PXE missed the runway and landed on a lagoon on Friday in Chuuk, Micronesia. Eight people remain in hospital, one of which is on a ventilator.

"I thought we landed hard, until I looked over to the side of the plane and saw a hole the water was coming in".

The cause of the crash and the exact sequence of events remains unclear.

The divers have confirmed that all the passengers had safely evacuated the aircraft.

Passenger Bill Jaynes said the plane came in very low. "I thought "this is not the way it's supposed to happen". However, Jaynes said the only scenario he can imagine is that it hit the end of the runway and continued into the water.

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Video shows plane sinking into a lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia. It said it was in touch with embassies, passenger representatives, stakeholders and families of the crew.

He said the flight attendants were yelling, and he suffered a minor head injury.

Flight PX73 flies from Tokyo's Narita International Airport to Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, via Pohnpei and Chuuk.

Air Niugini issued a brief statement via Twitter shortly after the crash.

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