Plane Crash on Utila

A Colombian was killed and two others injured Sunday when a small plane loaded with nearly 1.7 tons of cocaine went down in the Caribbean off Honduras, navy chief Juan Pablo Rodriguez said.

The Venezuelan-registered plane ran out of fuel and crashed near the airport in Utila, in the Bay Islands, the Honduran navy chief said.

The small plane crashed around 2:00 a.m. in bad weather, the navy chief said.

The plane’s pilot and co-pilot, who sustained minor injuries, are being held at the jail in Utila.

The aircraft did not catch fire and authorities found the shipment of cocaine intact.

The plane was being tracked by the navy, the Honduran drug enforcement agency and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration when it went down, Rodriguez said.

The pilots told authorities they were smuggling the cocaine into “another country in northern Central America,” which, based on the route being taken by the plane, would be Guatemala, the navy chief said.

Another Venezuelan plane loaded with cocaine landed on Utila in February.

So far this year, Honduran authorities, working with the U.S. Coast Guard, have seized nearly nine tons of cocaine.

About half the cocaine has been seized in international waters off Honduras, which has become a transit country in the South American drug trade.

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