23 September 2014
Soldiers from both the New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Defence Forces training together near Port Moresby were first on the scene when a Hevilift Twin Otter aircraft with nine people aboard crashed about three kilometres from their base last Saturday morning.
Three people, including both pilots, were killed when the aircraft crashed as it approached the airport. A fourth died in hospital on Sunday.
The crash occurred in steep and difficult terrain, and in poor weather. The Kiwi and PNG personnel, including medics and a doctor, worked together at the crash site removing debris from the aircraft, cutting tracks, and treating and later evacuating the survivors, some of whom were in serious condition.
The NZDF's Land Component Commander, Brigadier (BRIG) Peter Kelly, said that he was proud of the emergency work done in very challenging conditions by the Kiwi soldiers.
"The Kiwi and PNG personnel jumped straight in when help was needed and used their soldier training to provide immediate and crucial assistance," BRIG Kelly said.
"They had to deploy into an unfamiliar and chaotic scene with little to no information. They and their PNG colleagues made the best of a bad situation.
"Our thoughts now are with the families of those who were killed, and those who are still recovering from their injuries, but we are very glad that we were able to help when help was needed," he said.
For further information contact the Defence Communications Group: 021 487 980