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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Cubana airline plane with 113 on board crashes during take-off from Havana

It ploughed into a farm field where firefighters sprayed the heavily damaged and burnt fuselage with hoses.

Rescue and search workers on the site where a Cuban airliner with more than 100 passengers on board crashed (Ramon Espinosa/AP)
Rescue and search workers on the site where a Cuban airliner with more than 100 passengers on board crashed (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

A Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana has crashed on take-off from Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.

The plane, with 104 passengers and nine crew aboard, ploughed into a farm field where firefighters sprayed the charred fuselage with hoses.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

Officials said the plane was headed to the eastern city of Holguin when it crashed between the airport in southern Havana and the nearby town of Santiago de las Vegas.

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A Cuban plane plummeted into a yuca field just after takeoff in Havana (Andrea Rodriguez/AP)

The plane lay in a field of yuca-root plants and appeared heavily damaged and burnt.

Firefighters were trying to extinguish 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.

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There were more than 100 passengers on board (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

A military officer said there appeared to have been only three survivors in critical condition, but other officials declined to confirm that figure.

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

Cuba’s First Vice-President, Salvador Valdes Mesa, met on Thursday with Cubana officials to discuss improvements in its heavily criticised service.

Press Association

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