Plane overshot runway before ending up in Micronesian lagoon

The Air Niugini plane in the lagoon off Weno airport in Chuuk

The Air Niugini plane in the lagoon off Weno airport in Chuuk

AN Air Niugini plane has overshot a runway in Micronesia and plunged into the sea, with all passengers and crew reported to be safe, an airport official says. The passengers and crew were taken to hospital but no serious injuries were reported. The flight is part of the airline's bi-weekly service between the Federated States Of Micronesia and Port Moresby.

The accident happened at 9:30 a.m. on Friday when Air Niugini Flight 73 was flying from Pohnpei to Chuuk Airport on Weno island, where it was scheduled to make a stop before continuing on to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

According to local media, all 36 passengers and 11 crew members are safe, citing Jimmy Emilio, Chuuk airport manager.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the Boeing 737-800 plane crashed in the lagoon, located near an airport, during its take-off or landing, the outlet reported.

Photographs and videos posted on Twitter show locals helping passengers into boats beside the stricken half submerged plane.

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He told Guardian Australia: "I went back to my workplace and somebody told me, and I looked from the rooftop and the plane was starting to go underwater".

"It was sinking. It's under water now", he said.

"It clearly wasn't a crash, in the sense of a plane going down and coming apart".

"It landed in the water about 160 yards [145 metres] off shore".

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