The moment a US Navy teams wades into a half-sunk plane to rescue its passengers

The moment a US Navy teams wades into a half-sunk plane to rescue its passengers
The moment a US Navy teams wades into a half-sunk plane to rescue its passengers

US Navy team race to the rescue of a downed Air Niugini flight in Micronesia.ABC News

A US Navy rescue team waded through a half-submerged Air Niugini plane to pull survivors into an inflatable rescue boat after the jet crashed into a Micronesian lagoon.

Key points: The Navy team was among a host of small boats to rush to the passengers' rescue Officials said seven people had been taken to the hospital after the crash On Saturday, Air Niugini said in a statement that one male passenger was missing

Footage released by the Navy shows the team speeding towards the downed Boeing 737-800, which slammed into the water about 160 metres short of the runway at Chuuk International Airport on September 28.

The team had been in the area working on improving the wharf in Chuuk.

Lifejacket-clad men and women started emerging from the cabin soon after the small boat glided to a stop over one water-covered wing.

Someone from the jet told the team a man needed urgent help on the opposite side of the craft.

"There's a badly injured guy on the other side," one man said, relaying the message to an another vessel approaching the sinking plane.

The Navy crew turned their attention to transferring the soaked passengers and crew to their boat.

"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.

The men compared headcounts of passengers and crew originally on the plane, and the number who boarded a host of small boats that also raced to the rescue.

Photo A man warns rescuers to take care in the sinking plane.

ABC News

The men spoke in urgent tones, after one warned the plane would soon be filled with jet fuel.

With the plane apparently cleared, the team returned to the boat.

"They got everybody," a man said.

On Friday officials said seven people were taken to hospital after the crash, and said all 36 passengers and 11 crew had been accounted for.

However, on Saturday, Air Niugini said in a statement that it could not account for one male passenger.

The airline said it was working with local authorities to locate him.

ABC/wires

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