San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Five Killed in TACA Crash in Honduras; All Ticos Survive

A TACA plane crashed during landing in Honduras last Friday, killing five people, including Nicaraguan banker Harry Brautigam, president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, and injuring 38 others.

The plane was carrying 135 people on a route from Los Angeles to San Salvador, then to the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa and later Miami, according to wire reports. It crashed after overshooting the runway in Tegucigalpa and careened onto a busy street, killing two drivers.

According to the daily Al Día, 17 Costa Ricans, including former Housing Minister Helio Fallas, were on the plane. All survived.

Fallas is in serious condition after tubes were inserted into his lungs in the intensive-care unit of the HondurasMedicalCenter in Tegucigalpa.

The official cause of the crash is unknown, but the Toncontín International Airport, built in 1948 with a runway less than 5,300 feet long, is considered one of the world s more dangerous international airports.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said his government will create an airport for commercial jets at a nearby U.S. military airfield within two months. Until then, planes will land in San Pedro Sula, about 110 miles north of the capital, he said.


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