23 Sep 2014

Fog initially blamed for PNG plane crash

8:42 am on 23 September 2014

Thick fog has been initially blamed for a fatal plane crash in Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands.

Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Hevilift Twin Otter aircraft crashed into Mount Lawes on Saturday, on its way to Port Moresby airport, killing the pilot and co-pilot and a passenger, with another passenger later dying in hospital on Sunday.

PNG Village reports the surviving five passengers are recovering in hospital.

One survivior, Father John Paul, a priest from Goilala, says their view was blocked by fog, until the mountain they crashed into loomed only hundreds of metres ahead.

He says it may have been too late to lift the aircraft.

Hevilift says it is conducting a thorough investigation and is cooperating with authorities to determine the official cause of the crash.

A Hevilift spokesperson, Beth Boswell, says the male pilot was Australian and the female co-pilot was from Papua New Guinea.