Only three sur­vive as air­liner crashes af­ter take- off

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - WORLD -

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.

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