Air Niugini Plane Crashes Into Sea In Micronesia

September 28, 2018

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An Air Niugini flight to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea crashed into the sea as it tried to land at Chuuk Airport in Micronesia on Friday morning.

The Boeing 737 from Pohnpei with 47 people on board was attempting to land at Chuuk Airport at 10:10 local time in what the airline described as very poor weather, with heavy rain and reduced visibility.

The aircraft landed in the sea 150 metres (160 yards) away from the runway, an airport manager said. The 737 began to sink, but all passengers and crew were able to evacuate, with the help of locals who reached the aircraft within minutes of the crash.

Air Niugini said there were 35 passengers and 12 crew onboard, but other reports say it was 36 pax and 11 crew. The airline confirmed later that all on board were able to evacuate safely.

Several passengers were injured in the crash, with head and spinal cord injuries and hip fractures treated in hospital. Local reports said four would have to be evacuated because of their injuries.

Some passengers said the cabin crew were of little help as they panicked and started shouting, which added to the passengers’ panic as they tried to get out of the plane.

Air Niugini said it had arranged accommodation for the passengers and was sending another plane to allow them to complete their journey to Port Moresby.

The airline said company personnel would arrive on the relief flight including a doctor to assist with the treatment of injured passengers.

An investigation into the crash would start soon, airport officials said.