28 die, 4 survive plane crash in Papua New Guinea
Friday, October 14, 2011
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AP) — A plane crashed in stormy weather in Papua New Guinea’s remote forests, killing 28 people and leaving only four survivors, officials said Friday.
Two pilots, one Australian and one from New Zealand, were among those who survived Thursday’s crash on the South Pacific island nation’s northern coast, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement. One flight attendant and one passenger also survived, Airlines PNG said in a statement.
All of those killed are believed to be Papua New Guinea nationals, the airline said.
The Airlines PNG Dash 8 aircraft crashed while flying from Lae to the resort hub of Madang, Papua New Guinea’s Accident Investigation Commission spokesman Sid O’Toole said.
The twin-propellor plane went down 12 miles south of Madang, he said. Police and ambulances had reached the crash site and investigators were traveling there Friday, he said.
In a statement, the airline said there was “an emergency situation” on board the aircraft during its approach to Madang airport.
“It has also been confirmed there was bad weather in the area at the time,” the airline said. “The crew attempted to conduct a controlled emergency landing but the aircraft broke up on impact. Part of the fuselage caught fire.”
Capt. Bill Spencer, a 64-year-old pilot who survived the crash, has 45 years flying experience, including 35 years in Papua New Guinea, the airline said. First Officer Campbell Wagstaff, who also survived, has over 2,500 hours flying experience.