New Zealand tourists injured in Vanuatu plane crash

14:37, August 02, 2011      

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Authorities in Vanuatu are investigating whether a lack of airport runway lights may have contributed to a light plane crash Monday in Port Vila involving five New Zealand tourists.

The air taxi-Vanuatu Cessna 207 crash-landed on a golf course at the Warwick Le Lagon resort and spa hotel on Monday, Radio New Zealand International reported on Tuesday.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) said two New Zealanders were admitted to a hospital and were being treated for non-critical injuries.

One patient has been flown to New Zealand for urgent medical treatment and the New Zealand High Commission in Vanuatu is providing consular assistance to the others involved.

A spokesperson for Vanuatu police, Kalshem Bongran, said the pilot had difficulty locating the runway due to heavy rain and thick fog, and might have been running low on fuel as he circled.

Bongran said civil aviation authorities in Vanuatu were investigating whether the automatic runway lighting system might have failed.

New Zealand's High Commissioner in Vanuatu said the Cessna 207 had seven passengers onboard when it crash landed .

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