An Airlines PNG plane DCH8 200 series crashed on the banks of the GUABE River near Marakum Village in the Rai Coast District south-east of Madang Town earlier this evening amidst heavy rains. The aircraft ditched on water with 32 passengers and crew. The tail of the aircraft is said to have caught on fire.
REPORTS NOW INDICATE THAT THERE ARE FOUR SURVIVORS AND 28 FATALITIES. LOCALS AT VILLAGE CONFIRM THAT THE TWO PILOTS PLUS TWO OTHERS HAVE SURVIVED. The rest have been incinerated by the flames.Officials from the Divine Word University were seen this evening at the front of Madangs Modilon Hospital. Some parents of final year students are reported to have been on this ill-fated flight. These parents were travelling to attend the final Thanksgiving Mass with their children this weekend at the University campus.
Survivors and remains of victims are now being brought to the Hospital in Madang.
Emergency teams have been dispatched by road and by sea to the disaster area. Local villagers are also assisting Authorities. Australian Army Blackhawk helicopters are also be providing assistance.
Airlines PNG has a terrible safety record. It is with such notoriety that it seeks a merger with the state-owned Air Niugini. Air Niugini has never had a crash.
The Government of PNG and particularly the Minister for State Enterprise, Sir Mekere Morauta now have a public duty to stop the merger.
BELOW: Astrolabe Bay: The Coastline where the crash site is located
Above: Aerial shot of Madang taken from a similar aircraft as the one that crashed
Below: Madang Airport. Note (Right of pic) a similar type of aircraft (as the one that crashed)
BELOW: COASTWATCHERS MEMORIAL MADANG TOWN. NEAREST URBAN CENTER