October 13, 2011 / 12:24 PM / 8 years ago

Papua New Guinea plane crashes, toll unknown

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An aircraft carrying 32 people crashed Thursday in the South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, local aviation officials said, but it was unclear how many passengers had died.

The Airlines PNG Dash 8 crashed en route from Lae to Madang in PNG’s north, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said from the PNG capital Port Moresby. Residents said there was a violent storm in the area at the time.

“There were reports of fire and there have been some fatalities,” Sid O’Toole, from the PNG Accident Investigation Commission, told the ABC.

Police and ambulances had reached the crash site and investigators would be traveling there Friday, he said.

The Dash 8 is a series of twin-engined, medium-range, turboprop airliners. Introduced by De Havilland Canada in 1984, they are now made by Bombardier Aerospace.

Reporting by Michael Perry in Sydney; Editing by Nick Macfie

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