Micronesia plane crash: Boeing 737 passenger jet crash-lands in Pacific lagoon after missing runway

One passenger says aircraft was filled waist-deep with water before first rescuers arrived

Adam Withnall
Friday 28 September 2018 07:57
Comments
Micronesia plane crash: Boeing 737 passenger jet crash-lands in Pacific lagoon after missing runway

A Boeing 737 passenger jet with almost 50 people on board has crash-landed in a lagoon in the Pacific state of Micronesia.

The plane, operated by Papua New Guinea state airline Air Niugini, hit the water short of the runway while attempting to land at Chuuk Island.

Dramatic footage emerged showing the 47 passengers and crew being rescued in boats from the half-submerged plane. One passenger posted a video to social media saying the aircraft was filled waist-deep with water before the first rescuers arrived.

The airline said in a brief statement that all those on board were able to evacuate safely.

An airport manager said the incident happened at around 9.30am local time.

“It was supposed to land but instead of landing it was 150 yards short and she went down,” Jimmy Emilio, general manager of Chuuk Airport, told the Reuters news agency.

“We don’t really know what happened ... people were rescued by boats – 36 passengers and 11 crew were all rescued, only the plane is sinking right now,” he said.

The plane crash-landed in a lagoon

A local hospital spokesperson said the passengers and crew were all taken to hospital, where eight remained, four in a serious condition with bone fractures and other injuries.

“I thought we landed hard until I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane and water was coming in,” passenger Bill Jaynes said in a video posted by the Pacific Daily News website.

“I thought, well, this is not like the way it’s supposed to happen,” he said. He said the water had risen up to waist height in the cabin before rescuers arrived.

Air Niugini has been in operation since 1973, and its fleet includes Boeing 767 and 737 jets for international routes.

Boeing said in a brief statement that it was “glad to hear” initial reports that all passengers and crew evacuated the sinking plane safely. The company said it would “provide technical assistance under the direction of investigating government authorities”.

Micronesia, located north of Australia and east of the Philippines, is home to just over 100,000 people. It has close ties with the US under an agreement known as the Compact of Free Association.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in