This afternoon Air Niugini’s management released a couple of statements to assure families of the 47 on board the aircraft, that all were being taken care of by FSM authorities on Chuuk.
Air Niugini stated that the aircraft had 35 passengers and 12 crew members on board, all of whom were able to safely evacuate the aircraft with assistance from locals in Chuuk.
Amateur videos posted online from Chuuk locals show a number of boats responding immediately to the incident to assist passengers out of the partially sunken aircraft.
Air Niugini said the PX 073 flight was operating between Pohnpei and Chuuk Airport when the incident occurred at about 10 past 10 FSM local time.
The airline’s earlier report stated that the P2-PXE landed short of the runway whilst landing on Chuuk Island.
Air Niugini was informed that weather was very poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of the incident.
While Air Niugini is positioning assistance to Chuuk for its passengers and crew, videos and images continue to be posted on social media earlier this afternoon, showing local hospital staff assisting obviously shocked and shaken passengers and crew members.
Air Niugini began made its first official flight from Port Moresby to Chuuk in September 2016; recently the airline launched its first direct flight from Japan’s Narita Airport to Chuuk.
Pictures courtesy of Prince Aki on Facebook.