All 13 people on board a chartered plane that crashed en route to a tourist region of Papua New Guinea are dead, Australia's prime minister said Wednesday.
Papua New Guinea officials informed Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith that no survivors were found in the wreckage that had been discovered in the rugged Kokoda region earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told parliament.
The plane, carrying 11 passengers and two crew, vanished Tuesday morning in bad weather on approach to an airport nestled in the Kokoda region. Nine Australians, one Japanese and three Papua New Guineans were on board.
Smith said the wreckage was located at an altitude of 5,500 feet (1,676 meters) and weather conditions were deteriorating again, making rescuers' attempts to reach the aircraft by helicopter and on foot very difficult.
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