1 man missing after airplane crash in Micronesia

Hugh Fox
October 1, 2018

US Navy Sailors assist local authorities in shuttling passengers and crew of Air Niugini flight PX56 to shore following the plane crashing into the sea on its approach to Chuuk International Airport in Weno, Chuuk, Micronesia.

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

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.

Seven people had been taken to hospital and the airline said that six passengers remained at the hospital Saturday, all of them in a stable condition.

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The cause of the crash remains unclear.

Air Niugini said in a statement that as of Saturday afternoon, it was unable to account for a male passenger. Both the airline and the US Navy said the plane landed in the lagoon short of the runway. "And I thought, well, this is not the way it's supposed to happen".

Harris said initial reports suggested the plane was too low as it prepared to land and ended up short of the runway.

He said it's a good thing that so many people use boats to travel and were able to quickly help with the rescue.

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Jaynes said he had to wade through waist-deep water to get to the emergency exit.

Chuuk Lagoon is a popular diving destination and the site of sunken Japanese ships that were bombed by the US military during World War II. Chuuk makes up one of its four island states.

It's the national airline of Papua New Guinea, a nation that makes up the western half of the giant island of New Guinea known for remote jungle-clad mountains and tribes that rarely make contact with the outside world.

He said he has yet to see a passenger manifest, but typical passengers would include businesspeople from Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia, as well as some tourists.

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An American passenger on the plane, and one of the people who shot the video footage, Bill Jaynes, said that he was up to his waist in water whilst still on the plane.

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