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Mon, May 02, 2005

Honduran President Ditches in Caribbean Sea

Escapes With Minor Injuries

A Cessna (initially identified by numerous media sources as a C-208, but now ID'd in photos as a C-206) carrying Honduran President Ricardo Maduro splashed into the Caribbean Sea near the shore Sunday after an engine failure. The accident happened just short of the runway at Tela, a popular tourist spot 155 miles north of the capitol city of Tegucigalpa.

Local residents helped Maduro, 59, his daughter, Lorena, and the pilot from the water. "The airplane had a mechanical problem and fell into the sea, just beyond the end of the runway at Tela, a city on the Caribbean coast, "said presidential spokesman Jorge Barrios to the AP. "It is believed that the plane's engine stopped when it was making its approach for landing."

Barrios said Maduro would hold a news conference when he returned to the capitol. Reportedly suffering from some bruises, "The president is recovering at a hospital in Comayagua," added Barrios.

The plane sank into the water where the accident occurred, and it appeared that the three were the only people aboard the single-engine Caravan. Maduro was on his way to meet Tela Mayor Daniel Flores about a government development project.

FMI: www.casapresidencial.hn

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