Air Niugini Plane Overshoots Runway in Micronesia and Sinks in Sea Lagoon

A Papua New Guinean plane has sunk in a lagoon after overshooting the runway in the Federated States of Micronesia.

All passengers were reportedly rescued safely from Air Niugini’s partially submerged Boeing 737-800.

Flight 73 flies between Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia and Port Moresby, stopping in Chuuk State. One witness said the plane was coming in to land.

Videos posted to social media show dozens of people in boats around the wreckage. Local media said the 36 passengers and 11 crew members were safe.

Air Niugini is PNG’s national airline.

John Merelli, an employee at the High Tide Hotel a short distance from the end of the runway, said he heard the plane coming in but thought it was just a normal landing.


“Then I went back to my workplace and somebody told me, and I looked from the rooftop and the plane was starting to go underwater,” he told Guardian Australia.

“It was sinking. It’s under water now,” he said.

“The plane crashed and in around five minutes the rescuers were there, they were ordinary people, because there are plenty of boats around the shore. The officials were about 10 minutes.”

Another employee said the runway was known to be very short.

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Jake Smith
Jake Smith
Director of Special Projects - Jake is an experienced aviation journalist and strategic leader, regularly contributing to the commercial aviation section of Travel Radar alongside leading strategy and innovation including livestreaming and our store.



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