updated 5/1/2005 8:55:37 PM ET 2005-05-02T00:55:37

A small plane carrying Honduran President Ricardo Maduro went down in the Caribbean Sea near the shore Sunday after its engine failed, and Maduro was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, the president’s spokesman said.

“The airplane had a mechanical problem and fell into the sea,” just beyond the end of the runway at Tela, a city on the Caribbean coast, said presidential spokesman Jorge Barrios. “It is believed that the plane’s engine stopped when it was making its approach for landing.”

Maduro, 59, his daughter, Lorena, and the plane’s pilot “were all unharmed” after they were plucked from the water by local residents, Barrios said.

“The president is recovering at a hospital in Comayagua,” a central Honduras city, he added.

Maduro, who has fought a fierce battle against street gangs in Honduras, was on his way to a meeting in Tela with Mayor Daniel Flores about a government development project.

Barrios said Maduro would hold a news conference when he returned to the capital.

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