JUST IN: Plane Misses Runway And Crashes Into Lagoon

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PLANE MISSES RUNWAY

JUST IN: Plane Misses Runway And Crashes Into Lagoon

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




The Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 was attempting to land at Weno airport in Micronesia but ended up half submerged in Chuuk lagoon after the accident on Friday morning.

Within minutes, locals scrambled a flotilla of small boats to pluck the 35 passengers and 12 crew from the water.

The Air Niugini plane hit the water short of the runway while trying to land at Chuuk Island in the Federated States of Micronesia on Friday morning.

Striking footage from the scene shows people being rescued in boats from the half-submerged plane, in images reminiscent of the 2009 crash-landing in New York City known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

The airline said in a brief statement everybody on board the Boeing 737 plane was able to safely evacuate, and the airline was making all efforts to ensure the ongoing safety of the passengers and meet their immediate needs.

The airline did not immediately say how many people were on board the plane, where it was traveling from, or what caused the crash. Local news reports indicated between 40 and 50 people were aboard.

Air Niugini said everyone on board was safely rescued

Air Niugini is the national airline of Papua New Guinea and has been in operation since 1973. The fleet includes Boeing 767 and 737 jets for international routes, according to the airline, as well as Fokker F-100 aircraft, Q400 and Dash 8 aircraft for challenging local terrain.

Micronesia, located north of Australia and east of the Philippines, is home to just over 100,000 people.

It has close ties with the US under an agreement known as a compact of free association.

In 2009, both engines on a US Airways jet failed after striking a flock of geese during takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles safely landed their powerless plane on the Hudson River.

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

Remarkably, it reported no serious injuries among those on the plane, which was making a scheduled stop on its way from the Micronesian capital Pohnpei to Port Moresby.

“Air Niugini can confirm that all on board were able to safely evacuate the aircraft,” the firm said in a brief statement.

UK Telegraph, NDTV



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