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Wreckage of missing plane found in Papua New Guinea

The wreckage of a light plane with 13 people on board that went missing in Papua New Guinea has been found, officials said on Wednesday.

world Updated: Aug 12, 2009 09:41 IST

The wreckage of a light plane with 13 people on board that went missing in Papua New Guinea has been found, officials said on Wednesday.

The Twin Otter went missing on Tuesday after leaving Port Moresby on a three-hour flight to Kokoda. There was no word of the passengers, who included nine Australians and a Japanese national.

"I don't know any specific details at this time, all I've been told is that it has been located," Civil Aviation Authority chief Joseph Kintau told Australia ABC Radio in Port Moresby.

He said the chances of finding survivors in the rugged Owen Stanley Ranges north of Port Moresby were very slim.

"In that kind of area, on past experience, very unlikely. It's very difficult terrain. It's thick jungle, low clouds," he said.

The Australians aboard the Airlines PNG scheduled flight were tourists intending to walk the Kokoda Track, where Australian soldiers held back the Japanese advance in World War II.

Liz Holliday, whose son is among the missing, told ABC Radio that Peter Holliday intended to walk the Kokoda Track in the footsteps of his grandfather, who served there with the Australian forces.

"I guess it's the same for everyone, everyone who's got anyone missing, it's just totally devastating," she said. "So our heart goes out to everyone, all the families of everyone who's got someone missing."