24 Aug 2009

Bodies in PNG aircrash at Kokoda now all identified

7:38 pm on 24 August 2009

The 13 victims of the plane crash two weeks ago near Kokoda in Papua New Guinea have been formally identified by PNG authorities and are now ready to be released to family members.

On August 11 the Airlines PNG flight carrying two PNG pilots and 11 passengers, including nine Australians who were planning to walk the Kokoda Track, crashed into the Owen Stanley Ranges near the village of Isurava.

An operation involving Australian and PNG government agencies spent several days in the dense jungle piecing together remains and clues as to what went wrong.

A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says they are now discussing the repatriation process with families.

PNG Police Forensic services officials confirm all the remains had been identified.

PNG's Civil Aviation Authority had said earlier that an investigation into the crash should take around 30 days with a report expected by mid September.