Airline now says 1 missing after Pacific lagoon plane crash

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Earlier today Air Niugini reported that it can not account for one male passenger and is working with local authorities, hospitals and investigators to locate this passenger, who was on board flight PX 073.

Photos and videos shared over social media showed the plane surrounded by a number of boats shortly after the incident.

His age and nationality is unknown, but Air Niugini says it is working with local authorities, hospitals and investigators to try and find him.

The sequence of events remains unclear.

Air Niugini said in a statement that as of Saturday afternoon, it was unable to account for a male passenger. "And I thought, well, this is not the way it's supposed to happen".

James Yaingeluo, one of the first to arrive at the scene, said the plane landed more than 500 meters short of the runway.

"This has been confirmed by other passengers that the unaccounted person had safely evacuated the aircraft and he was seen in one of the local dinghies that were assisting with transporting the passengers and crew to the shore", the statement said.

Jaynes said those aboard managed to wade through waist-deep water to the emergency exits on the sinking plane. "Everybody came together and rushed to the plane and rescued the passengers".

Manila had banned the deployment of workers to the Pacific Island nation after some Filipinos allegedly failed to receive their wages from a state hospital there. Flight 73 was flying from Pohnpei, about 415 miles to the east, stopping in Chuuk before a scheduled leg to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.

Air Niugini is the national airline of Papua New Guinea and has operated since 1973.

Micronesia, located north of Australia and east of the Philippines, is home to just over 100,000 people.

"Careful because I don't know how deep this is", one man said as the camera moves inside the half-sunk plane, the team sloshing past rows of seats submerged up to the armrests.

Micronesia is a constitutional government in free association with the United States; achieved independence in 1986.