The rescuers had dropped down ropes from a helicopter in a valley below the mountain ridge where the plane crashed, PNG's Transport Minister Don Polye told journalists in Port Moresby.
"The crash site is about 5000 foot on a mountain and the people have been dropped on the ground below at about lunch time," he
"They have to walk up and it's about six to seven hours walk in the very difficult, rugged terrain.
"The weather is very difficult the terrain is very difficult.''
said helicopters which flew over the site did not see any sign of life.
"There was no movements," he
said it could not be confirmed that the passengers were all dead.
"I convey my deep sympathies to the families, that's all I can do at this stage," he
said, adding that it was one of PNG's
worst aviation disasters.
would not speculate on what went wrong.