Cuban Airlines Boeing 737-200 Crashes During Takeoff,Over 100 Dead
Over 100 are feared dead after a Cuban Airlines plane crashed shortly after taking off from Havana's Jose Marti International Airport on Friday, Cuban state-run website Cubadebate reported.
The Boeing 737-200 operated by Cubana de Aviacion crashed into a cassava field, sending a thick column of acrid smoke into the air, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
According to AP, an eyewitness to the crash has described the scene prior to the accident.
"The plane left the airport, then it came to here and seemed that it could not go up. And it came here, and when it met the house, it turned. And when it turned, it got tangled in the cables. And that's where it fell, and it fell," he said.
The Boeing 737-200 is 30-year-old and was on its way to Holguin, when it crashed into a large field near the airport in southern Havana.
According to AP, the plane was carrying 104 passengers along with 9 new crew members. Out of them, at least three have survived so far, but have sustained critical injuries.
The Mexican Civil Aviation Authority claimed that the flight crashed because of a system failure, as reported by CNN
Cuba's president Diaz-Canel has issued a statement saying that the fire has been put out. He added that the authorities have opened an investigation into the accident.
Cuba has declared an official period of mourning from 6 am on 19 May to 12 pm on 20 May, during which the national flag would be flown at half-mast outside the state and military institutions.
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