Search continues for passenger missing after Air Niugini rescue

It was previously thought all 47 passengers and crew survived

It was previously thought all 47 passengers and crew survived

Air Niugini said local authorities and the airline were continuing to search for the missing passenger.

The airline said it was making all efforts to ensure the ongoing safety of the passengers and meet their immediate needs.

Passengers were forced to swim for their lives on Friday when an airliner ditched into a lagoon after missing the runway on a remote Pacific island and began sinking.

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.

But then help suddenly arrived - from a flotilla of local boats that rushed to the plane and evacuated all 47 people stranded aboard the aircraft.

The rescue teams helped 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.

The airline said the plane, which was involved in a collision with another aircraft earlier this year, had "landed short of the runway".

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The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Philippine government will provide assistance to the nine Filipinos.

While the airline did not provide details of the cause of the crash, it said it had received information that "the weather was very poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of incident".

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

Bill Jaynes, managing editor of a Micronesia-based newspaper, was on the plane when it hit the water. "Until I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane and water was coming in. I thought "this is not the way it's supposed to happen".

Jaynes said he had to wade through waist-deep water to get to the emergency exit. He said the flight attendants were panicking and yelling, and that he suffered a minor head injury.

The clip shows sailors using the aircraft's right wing as a makeshift mooring for the boat.

Air Niugini is also in the process of transferring the passengers and crew from PX 073 to Port Moresby, whilst six passengers remain hospitalized in Micronesia.

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