Micronesia air crash turns fatal as passenger's body found


Papua New Guinea's national carrier says a search continues in Micronesia for a passenger missing after last Friday's crash landing of an Air Niugini flight.

He thanked the airline crew and local people who went to the rescue passengers, for their quick response in the evacuation.

The airline also said six passengers were hospitalised in Micronesia, while other passengers and crew members were being moved to Port Moresby in Papua new Guinea.

"The airline is making all efforts to ensure the safety and immediate needs of our passengers and crew", Air Niugini said.

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.

"There's a badly injured guy on the other side", one man said, relaying the message to an another vessel approaching the sinking plane.

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The Air Niugini plane in the lagoon off Weno airport in Chuuk. We came in very low and unfortunately the flight attendants panicked and started yelling and I was trying to be calm and help. What caused the crash and the exact sequence of events remains unclear. Two Australians were on board the aircraft at the time of the crash. A flotilla of local boats rescued the passengers from the sinking aircraft.

"It was surreal", said Bill Jaynes, editor of the Pohnpei-based Kaselehlie Press newspaper that covers the Federated States of Micronesia, who was on the flight. "I thought "this is not the way it's supposed to happen".

Social media posts shows a series of small boats helping passengers from the submerged aircraft. He said the flight attendants were panicking and yelling, and that he suffered a minor head injury. Officials initially said all passengers survived the incident. However, Jaynes said the only scenario he can imagine is that it hit the end of the runway and continued into the water.

"I was really impressed with the locals", said Jaynes.

US sailors were working on improving a wharf nearby, and one snapped a picture as they helped shuttle survivors to shore.

Air Niugini reported it was working with the embassy and the passenger's travel facilitator to contact his family.