Police confirms 12 deaths after plane crash in Kiunga

Twelve people, including three children and the pilot, who crashed on Wednesday, are all confirmed dead.

The three were pronounced dead on arrival at the Kiunga hospital.

Western Provincial Police Commander Joseph Puri said a pilot, a helicopter from a drilling company based in Kiunga, spotted the crash and quickly transported three survivors to the Kiunga hospital but all three were declared dead on arrival.

PPC Puri said the aircraft was approaching the airport at around 2.20pm when the accident happened.

“The fixed-wing plane crashed into the shallow swamp at about 2.20pm, a kilometre from Kiunga airport,” Puri said.

He added that the flight is believed to be a Wewak-based aircraft and is trying to confirm this.

“The airplane crash is a shock and we were really worried that it might affect the province, but despite that the airstrip operation is not affected and the airplanes are doing their daily flights in and out of the airport,” Puri said.

He said at the moment the cause of the crash is not known and this will be confirmed later by air crash investigators.

Puri said all the deceased are at the Kiunga hospital. He thanked the OK Tedi Mining Limited and the policemen who were quick in assisting with the rescue operations and the repatriation of the bodies to the Kiunga hospital immediately following the crash.

Picture courtesy of pg.geoview.info 

Press Release