It was scheduled to take off at 9.55am from the airport on Weno island in Chuuk state headed for Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Reports said there had been up to 57 people on board, including 11 crew and either 36 or 46 passengers. All passengers were reportedly rescued safely after local fishers took their boats out to the crash site almost immediately. Some passengers had injuries, including broken bones. Dominic Kaumu, General Manager Commercial at Air Niugini, told the media four people were in hospital. It did not detail what caused the accident.
The plane is believed to be a 13-year-old aircraft. Previously operated by Jet Airways and Air India Express was involved in a collision at Port Moresby in May. A United Airlines flight from Guam that was scheduled to land in the same airport in Chuuk has been diverted to Pohnpei. There are flights every day but this has never happened before. We came in low, very low. Unfortunately the flight attendants panicked and started yelling,” a passenger said. The PNG Accident Investigation Commission is preparing a team to travel to the site of the accident.
Authorities in Micronesia are searching for a man who went missing. The airline did not give the nationality of the missing person but said it was in contact with the family.The passenger was seen in one of the local dinghies that were assisting with transporting the passengers and crew to the shore. He then disappeared.