Honduras plane crash: Private jet splits in half in crash landing

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image copyrightReuters
image captionAt least six Americans were injured when a plane crash landed in Honduras's capital Tegucigalpa on Tuesday morning.
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe Gulfstream G200 aircraft was on a private flight from Austin, Texas, when it skidded off the runway and into a ditch at Toncontin International Airport.
image copyrightEPA
image captionAuthorities have given conflicting accounts of how many were on board the aircraft, some saying six or nine. "Thank God there are no fatalities," one police official said.
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image captionOne witness told AFP he helped five men and a woman out of the plane, all of whom were "practically unharmed".
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image captionAviation expert Andrew Charlton told the BBC he believed this particular aircraft to be "back-heavy", with cargo, galley (kitchen) and toilet facilities at the back. "An aircraft is under massive, massive pressure when it lands at speeds of like 200 miles an hour. You design planes to withstand this."
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image captionHe speculated that a strain or microscopic fissure in the metal may have added to pressure on the wheels, leading to the structure tearing.
image copyrightReuters
image caption"The people would've been sitting more to the front, and no one being killed is a testament to the wearing of seat belts," he said, adding that there will be a thorough investigation to ensure similar accidents can be prevented in future.
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image captionIn 2008, a plane of the former airline TACA crashed in nearly the same spot. Five people died in that crash.
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image captionSurrounded by mountains and with a very short runway, the Toncontin airport is considered one of the world's most treacherous.
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe government is constructing a new international airport about 50km (31 miles) away from the capital.

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