More than 100 dead in Cuba plane crash

More than 100 people were killed in a fiery crash of a Boeing 737 passenger plane in Cuba.

Emergency personnel work at the site of the accident after a Cubana de Aviacion aircraft crashed after taking off from Havana‘s Jose Marti airport. Photo: AFP

There were only three seriously injured survivors among the 114 passengers and crew, Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel said.

The aircraft, a domestic flight to Holguin in eastern Cuba, crashed shortly after taking off from Havana, Cuban state-run media reported. There were 105 passengers, including five children, and nine crew members.

The fire from the crash had been put out and authorities were identifying bodies, President Diaz-Canel said, adding that authorities were investigating the cause of the crash.

Wreckage was strewn over the area and ambulances and firefighters were at the scene.

Havana‘s Calixto Garcia hospital director Carlos Alberto Martinez said four victims of the accident had been taken there. One had died and three others, all women, were in a serious condition.

“She is alive but very burnt and swollen,” said a distressed relative of one of the survivors at the hospital.

The plane crashed in the agricultural area in Boyeros, about 20 kilometres south of Havana.

“A column of black smoke rose up in the sky,” said Ana Gonzalez, a nearby resident.

Flight tracking websites indicated the flight was CU972.

Photo: AFP

Boeing Co said in a Twitter post: “We are aware of news reports out of Cuba and are closely monitoring the situation.”

The aircraft was possibly leased from a small Mexican airline called Damojh, Cuban state media said.

The Mexican government said on its website that the plane was a Boeing 737-201 built in 1979, making it around 39 years old.

“There is still no information, we are gathering what we can to give correct information,” a Damojh representative told Reuters in Mexico.

The airline running the flight, Cubana de Avacion, declined to comment

– Reuters