CANBERRA - Around 28 people are feared dead after a passenger aircraft crashed on Thursday in the South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, with only four survivors reportedly pulled from the wreckage, local aviation and embassy officials said.
The Airlines PNG Dash 8 with 32 passengers and crew on board was en route from Lae to the resort town of Madang in PNG's north when it crashed in bad weather around 20km (12 kms) southeast of its destination, Sid O'Toole, from the PNG Accident Investigation Commission, told Australian radio.
"The crew have experienced a problem, the thing has actually gone down overland with reports of fire and there have been some fatalities," O'Toole said.
People from a village near the crash site in thick forest at the mouth of the Gogol River said they had rescued four people, some with serious burns. Two pilots from Australia and New Zealand were believed to be among the survivors.