Air Niugini plane crashes in lagoon near Micronesia — all passengers safe

  • Air Niugini said its Boeing 737-800 aircraft, P2-PXE, landed short of the runway at Chuuk International Airport.
  • It added that each of the plane’s 35 passengers and 12 crew members had been safely evacuated.
People are evacuated from an Air Niugini plane crashed in the waters in Weno, Chuuk, Micronesia, September 28, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. 
James Yaingeluo | via REUTERS
People are evacuated from an Air Niugini plane crashed in the waters in Weno, Chuuk, Micronesia, September 28, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. 

An Air Niugini plane crashed in a lagoon off the Federal States of Micronesia after missing the runway while attempting to land.

The Papua New Guinea airline said Friday that its Boeing 737-800 aircraft, P2-PXE, landed short of the runway at Chuuk International Airport.

It added that each of the plane's 35 passengers and 12 crew members had been safely evacuated. The aircraft had been en route to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

"The incident occurred at 10:10am FSM local time (7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday)," the airline said in a statement on Facebook. "Air Niugini has been informed that the weather was very poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of incident."

Video of the incident's aftermath soon surfaced on social media.

The airline said it is now sending help to the island state and is contacting officials, passenger representatives and the crew's families.

"Air Niugini is now positioning assistance to Chuuk for our passengers and crew," the airline said. "We are also in touch with the embassies, passenger representatives, stakeholders and families of the crew."

"We thank everyone in Chuuk for the assistance provided today," it added. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers, crew and their families at this time."

It said in a follow-up statement that the airline's management will fly out to Chuuk to provide assistance, including a company doctor.

Passengers of the downed flight will be able to complete their trip to Port Moresby and hotel accommodation will be provided for others, the airline said.