Passenger plane crash-lands in ocean in Micronesia (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The aircraft belongs to Air Niugini, Papua New Guinea's national carrier. The Port-Moresby-based airline said in statement that the plane, a Boeing 737-800, "landed short of the runway."
The plane, which was carrying 46 people, quickly began sinking. Local boat owners and rescue teams rushed to the aircraft to get the passengers out.
Photos posted on social media showed the plane half submerged.
"We came in low, we came in very low. Unfortunately, the flight attendants panicked, and started yelling, and I was trying to be calm and help as best as I could," said Bill Jaynes, passenger on flight of Air Niugini. https://t.co/GkKsmaDWjYpic.twitter.com/g1m6J6UbU2— Guam PDN (@GuamPDN) September 28, 2018
A video posted on Facebook shows multiple fishing boats sailing towards the aircraft to pick up the stranded passengers.
The passengers and crew were taken to hospital for a checkup, with the airport authorities saying that the incident did not result in any major injuries.
"No serious injuries. Only minor ... Everybody is alive!" Jimmy Emilio, the airport's manager said, as reported by the Guam Daily Post.
US marines from the US Coast Guard Cutter Washington that was sailing nearby at the time of the incident and a rescue crew from Auckland, New Zealand, were said to be on their way to the site of the crash to join the rescue effort.
Prior to the airline's clarification, there had been some confusion in the media over whether the plane overshot the runway while taking off or crashed during a botched landing.
It is reported that the plane was arriving from Pohnpei, another Micronesian island, and was bound for Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
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