Cocaine-carrying plane crashes in Honduras

12:00, 11 March 2009
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Authorities estimate...

 A plane that was carrying more than 2 tons of cocaine crashed Tuesday in northern Honduras, killing the pilot, Honduran authorities said, according to AP.

Authorities estimate the plane was carrying about 2,200 lbs. (1,000 kilos) of cocaine, although all but 220 lbs. (100 kilos) of the drug burned in the crash, Vice Minister of Security Mario Perdomo said.

Perdomo told reporters that two U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration helicopters were pursuing the aircraft, which went down near El Negrito town in northern Honduras.

Perdomo said the plane left Venezuela and was heading to Honduras` Bay Islands, a transit point for U.S.-bound cocaine.

Later Tuesday, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Ledy Pacheco denied that U.S. aircraft had been pursuing the plane but said the DEA did help Honduras authorities locate the plane.

Honduran Security Ministry spokesman Hector Ivan Mejia also denied U.S. involvement. He said authorities are investigating "whether drug traffickers landed the plane and set it ablaze or if the pilot didn`t maneuver it right and crashed."

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