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Mon, Jun 20, 2005

Plane Carrying Honduran President Makes Emergency Landing

Two Hurt -- But President And First Lady Are Okay

An American Airlines 757 carrying the president of Honduras was forced to make an emergency landing on Grand Cayman Island Sunday because of a problem with the de-icing system. Two passengers among the nearly 200 people aboard were slightly hurt.

"The pilot declared an emergency after a problem with the de-icing equipment," AAL spokesman John Hotard told the Associated Press. "As the plane was clearing 28,000 feet on its descent into Grand Cayman, the aircraft experienced moderate turbulence."

AAL Flight 953 had departed New York's LaGuardia, enroute to Tegucigalpa, Honduras after a stop in Miami. That's where Honduran President Ricardo Maduro and his wife, Aguas Ocana, boarded the 757 on their way home from a weekend getaway in Florida.

"The president and the first lady are in perfect health," said a Honduran government statement obtained by the Associated Press.

The president and first lady were flown back to the Honduran capital by government aircraft while the remainder of the 188 passengers and six crew overnighted in Grand Cayman.

One passenger suffered a minor foot injury, Hotard said. The injuries to the other passenger weren't made clear by Cayman health officials.



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