Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Micronesia air crash turns fatal as passenger's body found: airline

Micronesia air crash turns fatal as passenger's body found: airline

An Air Niugini plane floating in Pacific lagoon after its crash-landing in Pacific lagoon near Chuuk Airport in Weno, Federated States of Micronesia, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

An Air Niugini spokeswoman did not immediately respond on Monday to a request for an update on the search for the passenger and for details including his nationality.

The body of a passenger on a flight that crashed short of the runway on the tiny Pacific island nation of Micronesia last week has been discovered by divers, operator Air Niugini said on Monday in contrast to its initial report that all had survived.

The agency is now providing assistance to the nine seafarers who were among the 47 passengers of Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

And on Monday, the airline confirmed that divers found the body of the unaccounted man in the Chuuk lagoon's surrounding area.

Air Niugini in a statement said the USA divers have confirmed that all the passengers were safely evacuated from the aircraft. "Our outreach team is in touch with the man's family and we are making arrangements to repatriate his body".

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A Chuuk State Hospital official did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

What caused the crash and the exact sequence of events remains unclear.

Lt. Zach Niezgodski /U.S. Navy/Handout via ReutersUS Navy sailors help shuttle passengers and crew from Air Niugini Flight 73 after it crash-landed into a Micronesian lagoon on September 28.

James Yaingeluo via REUTERSLocal boats going out to rescue passengers and crew from an Air Niugini plane that crash-landed off Chuuk, Micronesia. Some witnesses thought the plane overshot the runway.

Flight PX73 flies from Tokyo's Narita International Airport to Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, via Pohnpei and Chuuk.

Air Niugini, which has been established in 1973, is the flag carrier of Papua New Guinea.

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