Languages
Page last updated at 09:19 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 10:19 UK

'No survivors' at PNG crash site

Map

Rescue workers have found no survivors from a passenger plane that crashed in Papua New Guinea on Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.

Mr Rudd said rescuers had reached the crash site, but there was no hope of finding anyone alive. Nine Australians were among 13 people on board.

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

It disappeared shortly before it was due to land.

As well as nine Australians, the plane was carrying one Japanese and one Papua New Guinean passenger, and two local pilots.

'Horrible tragedy'

In a statement to parliament, Mr Rudd said he had "distressing news" for the families of those on board.

I have requested the ministers of the various responsible authorities to commence investigations into the accident
Michael Somare
PNG prime minister

"[The] Australian high commissioner in Papua New Guinea [has] been informed by Papua New Guinean officials on the ground at the crash site that they had concluded that there were no survivors from the crash," he said.

"There is a horrible tragedy involved when families send off their loved ones for what they expect to be the experience of a lifetime, only for it to turn into a tragedy such as this."

The twin-engine plane left the capital of Port Moresby bound for an airport near the Pacific island-nation's Kokoda Track, a mountainous 60-mile (100km) trekking trail.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare expressed "great sadness" over the crash.

"I have requested the ministers of the various responsible authorities to commence investigations into the accident and to furnish a report to cabinet," he said.

No official explanation has yet been given for the crash.

In a statement, the airline said the plane's two pilots were "highly experienced", adding: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected at this very difficult time."

Mountainous terrain and lack of roads make air travel vital for the nation's six million people.

But crashes are fairly frequent - at least 19 planes are reported to have come down since 2000.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Plane lost over Papua New Guinea
11 Aug 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Four dead in Papua plane crash
09 Apr 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Papua New Guinea
19 Oct 11 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific