Guam – After an underwater search, on Monday night Air Niugini confirmed the death of a male passenger following the seaside crash of Flight PX-56, when the Boeing 737 failed to break on the runway and skimmed straight over a lagoon off the runway at Chuuk International Airport at Weno Island on Sept. 28.
An official military video circulating widely on social media shows a U.S. Navy dive team conducting what appears to be a final sweep of the downed commercial jet and rescuing as many as four crew members and a passenger before the aircraft sank.
As ABC News reported, Navy divers waded over a partially submerged wing of the 737-800 P2-PXE in order to step inside as the jetliner took on water.
But apparently an unaccounted-for passenger was somehow missed before the vessel was swallowed up by the hundred-foot depths of the tidal pond.
“It is with deep sadness I confirm that the body of a male passenger was discovered by divers today as they conducted a further search of P2-PXE and the surrounding area in the Chuuk Lagoon,” said Air Niugini CEO Tahawar Durrani.
“This is the unaccounted passenger from the aircraft. Our outreach team is in touch with the man’s family and we are making arrangements to repatriate his body.”
The Papua New Guinea-based airline said Friday that all 47 passengers and crew on board had safely evacuated the passenger jet before it sank after overshooting the runway and coming to a rest in the lagoon in bad weather. But Air Niugini announced by Saturday that it still could not account for one male passenger.
A viral simulation video tagged “Pacific Eye” traces the plane’s failed landing at the airport but does not show how the craft sank. After an air crash that ended in a watery grave for one passenger, others are just glad to be alive.
“We came in low, we came in very low,” passenger Bill Jaynes told ABC News. “I thought we landed hard till I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane, and water was coming in.”
PNC will monitor and report developments as air crash causes and a cause of death unfold. PNC has asked Air Niugini for the identity of the perished passenger after airline has contacted next of kin and are able to release it.