A Papua New Guinean plane has sunk in a lagoon after overshooting the runway in the Federated States of Micronesia.
All passengers were reportedly rescued safely from Air Niugini’s partially submerged Boeing 737-800.
Flight 73 flies between Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia and Port Moresby, stopping in Chuuk State. One witness said the plane was coming in to land.
— makereta komai (@burebasgal) September 28, 2018
Videos posted to social media show dozens of people in boats around the wreckage. Local media said the 36 passengers and 11 crew members were safe.
Air Niugini is PNG’s national airline.
BREAKING: The Air Niugini plane which has landed in the ocean appears to be Flight PX073 which is scheduled to fly Pohnpei – Chuuk – Port Moresby. Photos show small boats effecting rescue @PXPNG #PNG pic.twitter.com/xPNsau2jZH
— Deni ToKunai (@Tavurvur) September 28, 2018
John Merelli, an employee at the High Tide Hotel a short distance from the end of the runway, said he heard the plane coming in but thought it was just a normal landing.
“Then I went back to my workplace and somebody told me, and I looked from the rooftop and the plane was starting to go underwater,” he told Guardian Australia.
“It was sinking. It’s under water now,” he said.
“The plane crashed and in around five minutes the rescuers were there, they were ordinary people, because there are plenty of boats around the shore. The officials were about 10 minutes.”
Another employee said the runway was known to be very short.
Reports of an Air Niugini 737 overrunning the runway in Chuuk, Micronesia (TKK). That's a 6,013-foot runway, which is on the shorter side for an airport with airline service. https://t.co/DKY11XENhV I flew into this airport in July, you can see how hard the braking is on landing. pic.twitter.com/1odaL4z8gy
— Ethan Klapper (@ethanklapper) September 28, 2018