A few hours ago an Air Niugini 737 on approach to Chuuk, Micronesia, appears to have undershot the runway, resulting in a water evacuation of the aircraft.
The pictures, and rescue efforts, look incredible, and all 47 passengers and crew are accounted for:
Air Niugini #PX73 lands in the water near Chuuk Int’l Airport, Micronesia. This photo shows many local residents in boats assisting in the rescue of passengers and crew; all reported safe although some taken to hospital.
— Tom Podolec Aviation (@TomPodolec) September 28, 2018
The situation is still developing, but Air Niugini, which is the national airline of Papua New Guinea, has issued the following statement regarding flight PX73 on their social media accounts:
Air Niugini advises that its Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, P2-PXE landed short of the runway whilst landing at Chuuk Island of the Federated States of Micronesia this morning.
Air Niugini can confirm that all on board were able to safely evacuate the aircraft. The airline is making all efforts to ensure the safety and immediate needs of our passengers and crew.
Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
Air Niugini is one of only a few airlines servicing Chuuk, with service to Pohnpei and Port Moresby, and — more recently — Tokyo Narita. They have ~20 aircraft in their fleet, serving almost 40 destinations, and are partners with Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Chuuk is popular with divers, and United flies to the airport as well, as part of their Island Hopper route (which, if you haven’t read Cynthia Drescher’s experience on the Island Hopper, it’s a piece of writing well worth your time).
This was my view during approach to Chuuk, when I did the #IslandHopper in 2016. Chuuk Lagoon is home to >45 diveable wrecks of the Japanese Imperial fleet (both ships & aircraft) sunk in World War II. pic.twitter.com/UuTjR5shVF
— Cynthia Drescher (@JetSetCD) September 28, 2018
There will be many more details to come, I’m sure, but it’s wonderful to hear that (at least for now), everyone was able to evacuate safely.
Featured image courtesy Air Niugini