One dead after Air Niugini flight #PX73 lands in the water near Chuuk Airport, Micronesia

Photo: © James Yaingeluo

A Boeing 737-800 operated by Papua New Guinean flag-carrier Air Niugini has landed in the ocean, short of the runway at Chuuk Airport on the Micronesian island of Weno.

47 people were on board the aircraft with the registration P2-PXE, that was flying on flight PX73 from Pohnpei Airport in Micronesia to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, with a planned stop in Chuuk, where it crashed on landing at 10:10am local time.

First responders were quick to assist the ones on board get out of the water. Eight people suffered injuries and were brought to a local hospital.

It was first reported that all 35 passengers and 12 crew were able to safely evacuate the aircraft. However, on September 29th, Air Niugini has published a statement, saying that one passenger is missing.

„We are unable to account for a single male passenger and are working with the local authorities, hospitals and investigators to locate this passenger who was aboard our flight […]”
– Air Niugini

UPDATE October 1st, 2018: The airline has now confirmed that divers have found the missing passenger dead in the water.

What caused this accident is not yet known. An investigation was opened by the Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission (PNGAIC), Boeing has offered technical assistance to the investigators.

Air Niugini is operating a fleet of 22 aircraft, including one Boeing 737-700 and two 737-800. One of the latter was lost in the accident.