Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:19 UK

Plane lost over Papua New Guinea


A passenger plane with 13 people on board has disappeared over Papua New Guinea.

The missing Airlines PNG flight was heading from the capital, Port Moresby, to the popular tourist destination of Kokoda.

Nine Australians were among those on the twin-engine plane.

The plane disappeared as it was due to land. Officials said they were checking airfields to see if it had managed to land despite the low cloud.

The airline said it had launched a search for the missing plane, a De Havilland Twin Otter 300.

"The last communication from the missing aircraft was received as it approached Kokoda and an extensive search and rescue mission was activated after it failed to land," the airline said in a statement quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

It said the aircraft had an emergency locator beacon, but no signal had been received, Reuters reports.

Aviation can be dangerous in Papua New Guinea due to rugged terrain, high mountains and weather conditions that shift rapidly.

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