Nine Australians on plane missing in Papua New Guinea

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Melbourne, Aug.11 (ANI): At least nine Australians have been declared missing after the aircraft in which they were traveling disappeared in Papua New Guinea on Tuesday.

The plane was scheduled to arrive at the small village of Efogi at 9.55 a.m. (local time), before heading for Kokoda at 10.15 a.m., then back to Port Moresby by 11a.m.

The Australians were part of an expedition involving tour operator No Roads Expeditions.

The company confirmed on Tuesday that the nine Australians were travelling on board an Airlines PNG aircraft that went missing this morning.

"These passengers include a tour group of eight Australians on their way to walk the Kokoda Track, as well as an Australian tour guide, and one tour guide from Papua New Guinea," news.com.au quoted a company spokesman, as saying.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said consular staff were contacting families of the Australian passengers to offer consular assistance.Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told Parliament that Airlines PNG had informed the relevant authorities that the plane had failed to arrive and was considered missing.

Smith said a search for the missing plane was underway. (ANI)

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