World News

Private jet crashes, almost splits in two at Honduras airport

Posted May 23, 2018 12:34 p.m. EDT

— A routine business trip turned into tense drama for six Americans flying from Austin, Texas, to Honduras.

A company jet they were traveling in crashed off the runway Tuesday, almost splitting in two, when it landed at Toncontin International Airport near the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.

All six people aboard -- four passengers and two crew members -- survived. One of the passengers and a crew member sustained extensive injuries.

"Thank God there are no reported human losses, the wounded are stable and cared for," Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández said after the crash.

"Thank you to those first responders who were so quick to assist," said Heide Fulton, the top US diplomat in Honduras. "We are monitoring events closely. The Embassy is providing all appropriate consular assistance."

The accident occurred around 11 a.m. local time, according to the Honduran Civil Aviation Agency. Operations at the airport were briefly interrupted but were fully restored later Tuesday.

The four passengers are employees of the Austin-based pawn store company EZCORP, according to company spokesman Jeff Christensen.

"It was a routine business trip that turned out to be not so routine," Christensen said.

Christensen said three employees were released from the hospital Tuesday with only minor injuries and bruises, while the fourth sustained more extensive injuries. A crew member also was injured more seriously.

"We have high expectations" for the full recovery of all those aboard and are "anxious to get them back home when they are ready," Christensen said.