Friday, May 30, 2008

TACA International Airlines Airbus crash at Tegucigalpa, Honduras

TACA A320 accident at TegucigalpaThis morning, May 30, 2008, an Airbus A320-233 aircraft operated by TACA International Airlines, the national flag carrier of El Salvador, overran the runway at Toncontín International Airport (MHTG) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The accident happened at about 09:45AM local time, as the scheduled passenger flight, TACA Flight TAI390, was arriving at Tegucigalpa from El Salvador International Airport (MSLP), according to a news bulletin on the TACA website. Early news media reports say there were some fatalities among the 124 and 11 crew on board, including at least one crew member (not yet confirmed by the company). Others had non-fatal injuries, although information was not made public about the number of those injured or the type of injuries.

A Miami Herald article about the accident  says:
Television images showed the Grupo TACA plane's fuselage buckled and broken apart in places. The cockpit was smashed under a billboard, and firefighters hosed down at least two cars trapped under the plane's left engine.

More than 2,000 gallons of jet fuel spilled out of the plane, and authorities tried to clear away hundreds of onlookers.
The Miami Herald website has a collection of photos from the accident scene at Tegucigalpa.

Click here to view a video of the accident scene, from

A short time ago the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board announced that a team had been dispatched "to assist the governments of Honduras and El Salvador in their investigation of a fatal runway overrun."
NTSB Senior investigator Robert Benzon will serve as the United States Accredited Representative. He will be accompanied by an NTSB powerplants investigator, two investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and a representative from International Aero Engines. The BEA of France is also sending an Accredited Representative and a team to participate in the investigation.

The investigation is being conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority of El Salvador (under delegation by the Government of Honduras), which will release all information
on the progress of the investigation.
TACA has identified the accident aircraft as "an A320-233 Airbus, Irish plate EI- TAF, series number 1374 built on January 4th 2001. Until May 29th it had accumulated 21,957 flight hours and 9,992 landings."

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the victims.

UPDATE: Reuters news service is now reporting that 38 people were injured, and five have died as a result of the TACA accident at Tegucigalpa.

UPDATE May 31, 2008: TACA crash in Honduras: Crew identified

[Photo Source]