Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Passenger Plane crashes in Papua New Guinea with 32 on board, Many feared Dead

A passenger plane carrying 32 people crashed near the Papua New Guinea coast, officials said Thursday, with witness reports saying only four people on board had survived.

The Airlines PNG Dash-8 was flying from the mountain gateway city of Lae to coastal Madang when it crashed around 5pm local time (0800 GMT), killing a number on board, the Australian Accident Investigation Commission said.

"There has been an aircraft accident here involving Airlines of Papua New Guinea," AIC investigator Sid O'Toole told AFP.

O'Toole was unable to confirm the number of casualties, but witnesses told local media only four on board had survived

"There were 32 people on board and there are some survivors and some fatalities," he said.

O'Toole said there had been "adverse weather around the area at the time" but could not confirm witness reports of a violent and sudden storm ahead of the crash, 20 kilometres south of Madang near the mouth of the Gogol river.

Most on board were believed to be the families of local university students travelling to a weekend graduation ceremony, according to media reports, which also cited witnesses seeing flames.

"It was hard to get there. Very dense," local firefighter Joe Dunar told the AAP news agency.

The inland site, reportedly in dense forest, had been secured by police and ambulances had arrived on the scene, with local emergency authorities and hospitals on standby, O'Toole said.

A crash investigator was already on the ground in Medang and Australian transport accident officials had also been contacted for assistance, he added. Read More