Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

DFA provides assistance to Filipinos in Air Niugini flight

DFA provides assistance to Filipinos in Air Niugini flight

The airline operating a flight that crashed into a Pacific lagoon in Micronesia on Friday now says one man is missing, after earlier saying all 47 passengers and crew had safely evacuated. Everyone made it off alive.

Images posted to social media showed the small boats racing to the site of the crash, surrounding the aircraft as it slowly sank in the lagoon, just off the airport.

Within minutes, local fishermen were on the scene with a flotilla of small motor boats to rescue people.

Jaynes said he and others managed to wade through waist-deep water to the emergency exits on the sinking plane and added that the flight attendants were panicking and yelling, and that he suffered a minor head injury.

In the "Miracle on the Hudson", both engines on a U.S. Airways jet failed after it struck a flock of geese during takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport.

"Chuuk has lot of outboard engines and boats out there", said Glenn Harris, an aviation-security inspector for Micronesia's Department of Transportation.

The U.S. Embassy in Micronesia said it was working to confirm the identities and the health and safety of any American passengers onboard the flight. The airline said the plane landed short of the runway.

The passenger was seen in one of the local dinghies that were assisting with transporting the passengers and crew to the shore, the airline said in a statement. "Everybody came together and rushed to the plane and rescued the passengers".

After the crash, all flights in and out of the Chuuk International Airport were suspended.

Manila had banned the deployment of workers to the Pacific Island nation after some Filipinos allegedly failed to receive their wages from a state hospital there. Chuuk is in the Caroline Islands between the Northern Mariana Islands to the north and Papua New Guinea to the south.

The AIC website details an incident involving the aircraft in May this year when a Hercules operated by a freight company clipped the 737's wing while taxiing, causing "significant damage".

Passenger Bill Jaynes, editor of the Pohnpei-based Kaselehlie Press newspaper said he did not even realise there had been an accident until he saw water gushing into the fuselage.

Micronesia is a constitutional government in free association with the United States; achieved independence in 1986.

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