Photo from Tom Podolec Aviation
This morning, an Air Niugini passenger plane crashed into a lagoon, near its destination, Chuuk Island in Micronesia.
The 48 people on the plane – 36 passengers and 12 crew members – survived and were rescued with inflatable boats.
A hospital worker said that four of the crash victims are in serious condition following the crash.
The reason the Boeing-737 – which had come from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea’s capital- was unable to correct course is still under investigation, however, it’s thought to have landed short of the runway due to reduced visibility caused by rain and poor weather.
Passenger Bill Jaynes told reporters that the incident had been “surreal.”
“I thought we landed hard until I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane and water was coming in. I thought, well, this is not like the way it’s supposed to happen,” he said.
Dr James Yaingeluo from Chuuk State Hospital was one of the first responders at the crash site and told the BBC that it was a scene of “chaos.”
“As soon as the plane door opened it was chaos. Everyone tried to get out through the exit,” he said. “Thankfully there were about 20 boats in the water and we managed to get everyone off the plane.”
Yaingeluo said some of the passengers suffered hip fractures and would “probably have to be medevacked off the island.”