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Papua New Guinea plane wreck found

The chartered flight that crashed was carrying 13 people to a tourist region. It is unclear whether there are survivors.

August 12, 2009|Associated Press

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Rescuers in a helicopter saw no immediate signs of life today amid the wreckage of a chartered plane that crashed while carrying 13 people to a tourist region of Papua New Guinea, the airline said.

Papua New Guinea Civil Aviation Authority head Joseph Kintau said the plane was located in "extremely difficult" terrain in a heavily forested mountainous region a day after it disappeared, and it was unclear whether there were survivors.

A radio signal had been received and search and rescue officials were attempting to reach the site, Kintau said.

The plane, carrying 11 passengers and two crew members, vanished Tuesday morning in bad weather on approach to an airport in the Kokoda region.

The twin-engine plane left the capital, Port Moresby, for an airport near the Pacific island nation's Kokoda Track, a mountainous 60-mile trail. The plane's crew radioed air traffic controllers as it was approaching the airstrip, but the aircraft never landed, said Allen Tyson, a spokesman for Airlines PNG.

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