Micronesia air crash turns fatal as passenger's body found - airline

Micronesia air crash turns fatal as passenger's body found - airline

Micronesia air crash turns fatal as passenger's body found - airline

A passenger on a plane that crashed into a Pacific lagoon on Friday said the flight attendants were panicking and he saw water pouring through a hole in the side of the plane before he was able to escape.

"The airline confirms that all other passengers and crew have been accounted for", statement added.

Air Niugini chairman Kosta Constaninou said witnesses reported seeing the passenger board a dinghy as U.S. divers and locals rescued the passengers and crew from the sinking plane.

Within minutes of the plane coming to a stop over 100 meters from the runway in the lagoon, local boat operators and rescue officials motored small boats to the plane to take passengers and crew off the downed plane.

The airline did not immediately respond to requests for more details about the passenger, such as his age or nationality. So far it appears none of the 47 people on board was killed, although one person was described by officials as in critical condition. The airline said the plane landed short of the runway. I thought, well, this is not like the way it's supposed to happen.

The airline said it had received reports that "the weather was very poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of incident".

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The fleet includes Boeing 767 and 737 jets for worldwide routes, according to the airline, as well as Fokker F-100 aircraft, Q400 and Dash 8 aircraft for challenging local terrain.

"Careful because I don't know how deep this is", one man said as the camera moves inside the half-sunk plane, the team sloshing past rows of seats submerged up to the armrests.

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

The Federated States of Micronesia is a nation made up of over 600 islands in the Pacific.

Flight PX73 flies from the Tokyo Narita Airport in Japan to the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby via Pohnpei and Chuuk.

There are 57 people, including 11 crew members and 46 passengers on the plane. The airline and the U.S. Navy both said the plane landed in the lagoon short of the runway.

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