Wreckage of plane found in Papua New Guinea

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 11:09

Sydney: The wreckage of a chartered plane
that crashed while carrying 13 people to a tourist region of
Papua New Guinea was sighted today by a rescue helicopter, an
official said.

Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Authority head Joseph
Kintau told the plane was located in "extremely difficult" terrain in a heavily forested region of the mountains and it was not clear whether there were survivors.

The plane, carrying 11 passengers and two crew, vanished
yesterday morning in bad weather on approach to an airport
nestled in the rugged Kokoda region. Nine Australians, one Japanese and three Papua New Guineans were on board.

A radio signal had been received and search and rescue
officials were attempting to access the site today, Kintau
told. He said he had no other details.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the
wreckage was located at an altitude of 1,676 meters and
weather conditions were deteriorating again, making searchers`
attempts to reach the aircraft by helicopter and on foot very
difficult.

"Given the crash site has been located, we have very,
very grave concerns about the safety and welfare of the nine
Australians, the three Papua New Guineans and the one Japanese
citizen on board the plane," Smith told Parliament.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 11:09

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