According to (CNN, Dozens of airline passengers were forced to swim for their lives Friday. Most importantly, this happened after their plane missed a runway and landed in a sea lagoon. The lagoon was on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
However, Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 aircraft was carrying forty seven people. Thirty five passengers and twelve crew members.
The aircraft plunged into the water after it “landed short of the runway”. This happened at the international airport on Weno. Weno is the main island of Chuuk state in Micronesia. This happened on Friday, according to a statement from Air Niugini, the national carrier of Papua New Guinea.
The airplane proceeded normally until final approach when the weather conditions suddenly deteriorated. It suddenly began to rain hard. This was stated by the Independent website JACDEC, which monitors airline safety and crash data.
Fortunately, within minutes, local fishermen were on the scene in small motor boats and rescued people. Everyone on board survived, Air Niugini Boeing said.
“At this point, it is still unclear whether the aircraft overshot the end of the runway. Or the aircraft ditched in the lagoon before reaching the runway,” JACDEC said.
“Nevertheless, despite water ingress, the aircraft managed to stay afloat for some time. This allowed passenger’s evacuation via the over wing exits and the forward passenger door. The Air Niugini Boeing later submerged below the window line.”
Bill Jaynes, managing editor of a Micronesia-based newspaper, was on the plane when it hit the water.
“It’s just surreal. I thought we landed hard until I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane and water was coming in. Above all, I thought, well, this is not like, the way it’s supposed to happen,” he said in a video posted to Facebook.
Jaynes said that people on the plane were in water up to their waists and used the emergency exit to escape.
Photographs and video footage posted online showed small fishing boats surrounding the stricken. And a semi-submerged plane, ferrying passengers to safety.
Moreover, James Yaingeluo was one of the first to arrive at the scene. He said that the plane landed more than 500 meters short of the runway.
“Luckily, it happened during the daytime,” he said. “When the plane came to a stop all the civilian boats came to help transport passengers to dry land.”
“Once the doors opened everybody fought to get out,” he added. “All the passengers were scared and in shock.”
“The airline is making all efforts to ensure the safety and immediate needs of our passengers and crew,” Air Niugini Boeing said.
The airline said it had received reports that “the weather was very poor with heavy rain. This reduced visibility at the time of the incident.”
Passengers and crew were taken to the hospital for checks and no serious injuries were reported.
The runway, like others in the north Pacific, is relatively short at 1,831 meters. This in Air Niugini Boeing is surrounded on three sides by water, AFP reported.
Air Niugini Boeing lists only one 737-800 among its fleet of 21 aircraft on its official website. Air Niugini Boeing
Source CNN. Com