Airline Now Says 1 Missing After Pacific Lagoon Plane Crash

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When Bill Jaynes realized the water was up to his waist, he knew something was wrong.

"It was supposed to land but instead of landing it was 150 yards short and she went down", Jimmy Emilio, Chuuk Airport general manager at Weno in Micronesia, told Reuters by telephone.

People are evacuated from an Air Niugini plane crashed in the waters in Weno, Chuuk, Micronesia, September 28, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media.

'I'm alive. That's an extremely good thing, ' said Jaynes.

Seven passengers and crew were initially hospitalized but no serious injuries were reported.

"It was just surreal".

The passenger was seen in one of the local dinghies that were assisting with transporting the passengers and crew to the shore, the airline said in a statement. "They just jumped in their boats and started helping".

Air Niugini issued a brief statement via Twitter shortly after the crash.

Micronesia Plane Crash
Passenger Bill Jaynes said the flight attendants were panicking and yelling

The Boeing 737-800 was on final approach in very poor weather according to the airline. Pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles safely landed their powerless plane on the Hudson River and passengers and crew walked on the wings to be rescued.

It could have been much worse. Pictures posted by bystanders two hours after the plane crashed showed it fully submerged in the water, which is up to 100 feet deep in some places. Its capital is Palikir and it trades with the USA dollar.

Within minutes, locals scrambled a flotilla of small boats to pluck the 35 passengers and 12 crew from the water. Both the airline and the US Navy said the plane landed in the lagoon short of the runway.

The U.S. Embassy in Micronesia said it was working to confirm the identities and the health and safety of any American passengers onboard the flight. Chuuk makes up one of its four island states.

It's the national airline of Papua New Guinea, a nation that makes up the western half of the giant island of New Guinea known for remote jungle-clad mountains and tribes that rarely make contact with the outside world.

A spokesman for Papua New Guinea's Accident Investigation Commission said investigators would fly to the scene as soon as possible to piece together what happened. The country is located north of Australia and east of the Philippines.

Micronesia is a constitutional government in free association with the United States; achieved independence in 1986.

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