Honduras minister Robelo among 14 plane crash dead

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A small plane has crashed in Honduras, killing all 14 on board, including a government minister, Rodolfo Robelo.

The plane was on a routine scheduled flight from the coastal city of San Pedro Sula to the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Also among those killed was former finance minister Carlos Chain and a trade union leader, Israel Salinas Jorge Castellanos.

An investigation has been launched into the crash which happened in a heavily forested mountainous region.

Officials said there was thick fog and strong winds in the area at the time.

The commander of the Air Force, Ruis Landa, said the plane - a Let 410 twin-engine, operated by Central American Airlines - had lost contact with air traffic control in a region south of Tegucigalpa.

Image caption,
The plane was on its way from San Pedro Sula to Tegucigalpa

Local residents heard the explosion as the aircraft hit the ground and raced to the scene to try to help any survivors, reported local newspaper El Heraldo.

But when they reached the area, they found a chilling scene of scattered bodies, the local mayor told the newspaper.

Two crew were among the 14 who died.

One of the pilots is reported to have survived the initial crash, but died before he could be taken to hospital.

The accident happened in the same area where a SAHSA airlines plane crashed in 1989, killing 131 people.

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