A Papua New Guinean airline whose plane crash-landed into a Pacific island lagoon last week has reported one death from the disaster, three days after claiming that everyone survived.
Air Niugini's Boeing 737-800 aircraft P2-PXE missed the runway and landed on a lagoon on Friday in Chuuk, Micronesia.
This has been also confirmed by other passengers that the unaccounted person had been safely evacuated from the aircraft and was seen in one of the local dinghies that were assisting with transporting the passengers and crew to the shore.
But Air Niugini chief executive Tahawar Durrani said the man's body was found by divers in the lagoon on Monday.
"As of 12:30 p.m. today, we are unable to account for a single male passenger and are working with the local authorities, hospitals and investigators to locate this passenger who was aboard our flight PX 073", Air Niugini statement said.
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The exact cause of the crash remains unclear.
"Our outreach team is in touch with the man's family and we are making arrangements to repatriate his body", Durrani said. All the passengers and crew were rescued. Some witnesses thought the plane overshot the runway.
Boats at the site after the fuselage of an Air Niugini plane got underwater in Pacific lagoon near Chuuk Airport at Chuuk Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.
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. Data from the Aviation Safety Network indicates 111 people have died in crashes of PNG-registered airlines in the past two decades but none involved Air Niugini.