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Cuba plane tragedy: Boeing 737, carrying 104 passengers, crashes on takeoff

104 passengers were on Boeing 737 domestic flight when it crashed near Havana airport in Cuba

BS Web Team & Agencies  |  New Delhi 

Cuba plane crash
Photo courtesy: @MaestroDEPR Twitter handle

A operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti Airport in Havana on Friday with 104 people on board. There was no immediate word on casualties.

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. "It seems that there is a high number of victims," Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Residents of the rural area said they had seen some survivors being taken away in ambulances.

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

Cubana de Aviación, the national airline of Cuba, has had a troubled history.

Due to US economic embargo, it has largely been dependent on Russian and European aircraft, according to Independent. Havana's airport handles close to six million passengers a year. Cuba plane crash Photo courtesy: @ritakhoury10 Twitter handle

First Published: Sat, May 19 2018. 02:44 IST