On 28 September, an Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 (P2-PXE) from Pohnpei to Chuuk – two islands in Micronesia – lost height shortly before landing at runway 04 of Chuuk Airport. Flight PX56 crashed approximately a quarter mile short of the runway, in a lagoon. Many people – and the U.S. Navy UCT 2 – came to the rescue with boats, all 35 passengers and 12 crew members were safely rescued but some of the passengers have been injured.
Air Niugini confirmed there were 35 passengers and 12 crew members and said it had received reports that “the weather was very poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of incident.”
U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2 rendered immediate assistance to the passengers and crew of Air Nuigini flight PX56, after it crashed into the lagoon near Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia.
Flight PX56 crashed approximately a quarter mile short of the runway, near where UCT 2 was conducting operations. The Sailors assisted local authorities by shuttling passengers and crew to shore using their inflatable boat prior to the plane sinking in approximately 100 feet of water. UCT 2’s embedded Chief hospital corpsman provided medical attention to at least one passenger who sustained minor injuries.
Bill Jaynes, managing editor of a Micronesia-based newspaper, explains what happened: “It is just surreal, I thought we landed hard until I saw water was coming in into the plane. I thought that this is not the way it supposed to happen. We came in very low, unfortunately the flight attendants panicked and started yelling. I started helping the best as I could.
I only have a head injury, some other passengers were pretty severely injured but no deaths is what I heard.
While we were landing the aircraft hit the end of the runway, that’s the only scenario as I can imagine. We were able to get out of the aircraft as the water only reached up to thigh height.
We could evacuate via the emergency doors, local fisherman came to the rescue with boats. I was really impressed with their response.”
UPDATE: Air Niugini flight #PX73 lost height shortly before landing on runway 04 at Chuuk Airport, Micronesia (PTTK) and ended up in the water. All 47 on board escaped and were rescued. The weather deteriorated before landing. JACDEC Report: https://t.co/OPku2ZJCRK pic.twitter.com/A8GweOUUI5
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) September 28, 2018
We’re follow media reports that an Air Niugini 737 crashed into waters near Chuuk. No serious injuries have been reported. Flightradar24 does not have ADS-B coverage in Chuuk. #PX73
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 28, 2018
All 35 passengers as well as pilot and copilot are okay. Air Niugini plane crashes in Guam. Pic credit Bill Davis/Facebook pic.twitter.com/GmpLWfCcE4
— MARTYN NAMORONG (@MartynNamorong) September 28, 2018
LATEST: No serious injuries reported after an Air Niugini Boeing 737 with 47 people on board crashes off the coast of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. https://t.co/fUr0yXpBvm pic.twitter.com/7oxqGo0EZd
— ABC News (@ABC) September 28, 2018
✈️ Les passagers et l’équipage ont été évacués à l’aide de bateaux de pêcheurs.
Le vol PX73 venait de Pohnpei et devait atterrir à l’aéroport de Chuuk. pic.twitter.com/KqT5RPrHbw
— air plus news (@airplusnews) September 28, 2018