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Cubana flight crashes on takeoff from Havana

Cubana flight crashes on takeoff from Havana

Friday, May 18, 2018

HAVANA — A Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana has crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport in Havana with 104 people on board.

State television and websites said the plane was headed to the eastern city of Holguin and crashed between the airport in southern Havana and the nearby town of Santiago de Las Vegas.

The plane lay in a farm field and appeared heavily damaged and burnt, with firefighters spraying water on its smouldering remains.

Government officials including President Miguel Diaz-Canel rushed to the site, along with a large number of emergency medical workers and ambulances. Residents of the rural area said they had seen some survivors being taken away in ambulances.

A military officer who declined to provide his name to reporters says there appear to have been three survivors in critical condition from the Cubana flight. Other officials have declined to confirm that.

The plane was rented by Cubana, which has taken many of its aging planes out of service in recent months due to mechanical problems.

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