Passenger plane crashes into Pacific lagoon after missing runway in Micronesia

Charlene Craig
September 28, 2018

The Chuuk lagoon was a famous World War II battle site and dozens of Japanese vessels and planes are on the lagoon floor, now a tourist attraction for scuba divers.

Boats are surrounding the partly submerged plane to rescue passengers and crew but other details are not yet available.

Air investigation authorities in Papua New Guinea told the BBC there were no reports of any serious injuries.

"Air Niugini can confirm that all on board were able to safely evacuate the aircraft".

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The cause of Friday's accident was not immediately known.

It is believed that the Boeing 737-800 was capable of carrying upto 160 people, but BNO News reported numbers of injured or fatalities were now unclear.

He said he has yet to see a passenger manifest, but he understands at least 30 passengers and 10 crew members were aboard. The flight was landing.

This particular route the Air Niugini flight was one is taken once a week, taking off from Pohnpei, stopping over in Chuuk and heading for Port Moresby.

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The Air Niugini plane in the lagoon off Weno airport in Chuuk. All passengers and crew reported safe.

"On a normal landing you end up 30m from the end of the runway and the end of the runway means water", he said.

Chuuk Airport has a single asphalt runway 04/22 that measures 1,831nm in length.

In 2009, both engines on a US Airways jet failed after striking a flock of geese during takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport.

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The passengers managed to escape from the plane with some getting out onto the wings, locals arrived shortly after on small boats to assist with the rescue operation.

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