Dozens of airline passengers were forced to swim for their lives Friday after their plane missed a runway and landed in a sea lagoon on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 aircraft carrying 47 people — 35 passengers and 12 crew members — plunged into the water after it “landed short of the runway,” at the international airport on Weno, the main island of Chuuk state in Micronesia 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 and it began raining hard, according to the independent website JACDEC, which monitors airline safety and crash data.
Within minutes, local fishermen were on the scene in small motor boats to rescue people. Everyone on board survived, Air Niugini said.
“At this point, it is still unclear whether the aircraft overshot the end of the runway or ditched in the lagoon before reaching the runway,” JACDEC said. Read more