Only three survive as airliner crashes after take- off
A CUBAN state airways plane with 110 passengers and crew on board crashed shortly after taking off from Havana, killing all but three people on board in a mass of twisted and smouldering fuselage.
Local state media reported that three women had been pulled alive from the mangled wreckage and were in critical condition in hospital.
They were the only known survivors from the nearly 40year-old Boeing 737, operated by Cubana de Aviacion. It crashed into a field close to a wooded area near Jose Marti airport, sending a thick column of acrid smoke into the air.
The 110 people aboard included six Mexican crew, said the Mexico-based company that leased the plane, Global Air, also known as Aerolineas Damojh.
Two victims were Argentine, the country’s foreign ministry said. Most of the others were Cuban. The plane, carrying 104 passengers, was almost completely destroyed in the crash and subsequent fire.
Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who visited the scene, said an investigation has begun into the disaster.
Airport sources said the plane took off at 12.08pm on Friday and was heading for the eastern city of Holguin, 670km away.
Firefighters work at the site.
One of the plane’s wings.