Man missing after plane plunges into sea in Micronesia

Man missing after plane plunges into sea in Micronesia

Initially, the airline had said all 47 passengers and crew had managed to evacuate the sinking aircraft safely - but on Saturday afternoon, it confirmed that one passenger was unaccounted for.

It's not clear if the man was seen after the crash or got missed in the head count but the Saturday statement said the airline was working with local police, medical authorities and investigators to find him. Everyone on board survived, and now one passenger is describing what happened as the plane hit the water.

The airline did not immediately offer any other details about the passenger, such as his age or nationality.

"Air Niugini advises that its Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, P2-PXE landed short of the runway whilst landing at Chuuk Island of the Federated States of Micronesia this morning".

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Jaynes said people on the plane were in water up to their waists and used the emergency exit to escape. "Until I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane and water was coming in".

Survivors of the incident have praised the swift rescue efforts of locals on small boats, as well as some United States Navy divers who were close to the scene. "One would think they might be afraid of approaching the plane that's just crashed".

The cause of the crash is still unknown. The airline said the plane landed short of the runway.

It's the national airline of Papua New Guinea, a nation that makes up the western half of the giant island of New Guinea known for remote jungle-clad mountains and tribes that rarely make contact with the outside world. Air Niugini said the weather was bad, it was raining hard and unclear vision at the time the accident happened.

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In the "Miracle on the Hudson", both engines on a U.S. Airways jet failed after it struck a flock of geese during takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport. It has close ties with the US under an agreement known as a compact of free association. "Everybody came together and rushed to the plane and rescued the passengers".

The crash landing comes less than two months before Papua New Guinea hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, expected to draw world leaders beginning on November 17.

Passenger Bill Jaynes said the plane came in very low.

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