Search continues for passenger missing after Air Niugini rescue

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Air Niugini said in a statement Monday that the four are in stable condition at a Chuuk island hospital and would soon be taken to Guam for further treatment.

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

Air Niugini said in a statement on Saturday that it could not account for one male passenger, but on Sunday it said other passengers had confirmed he had safely evacuated the plane and was seen in a local dinghy that transported passengers and crew to the shore.

A US Navy underwater construction team responded on Friday, September 28, when an Air Nuigini flight crashed into the lagoon just short of the runway at Chuuk International Airport in the Federated States of Micronesia.

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

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Social media video footage has shown locals trying to assist in getting passengers away from the plane in small boats. Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission is now preparing a team to investigate the site of the accident.

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The divers have confirmed that all the passengers had safely evacuated the aircraft.

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

Most of the remaining passengers and all of the crew members arrived in Port Moresby, the Papua New Guinea capital, where the airline is arranging their accommodation and further travel. Air Niugini said it received reports that the weather was poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of the incident.

Air Niugini chairman Kosta Constaninou said witnesses reported seeing the passenger board a dinghy as USA divers and locals rescued the passengers and crew from the sinking plane.

"Our outreach team is in touch with the man's family and we are making arrangements to repatriate his body", Durrani said.

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