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Cuba plane crash leaves more than 100 dead

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More than 100 people have died after a Boeing 737 airliner crashed near Cuba’s main airport in Havana, the country’s worst air disaster in decades.

Three women were pulled alive from the wreckage, but are said to be in a critical condition.

The plane, which was nearly 40 years old, was carrying 104 passengers and six crew members.

Cuban authorities have launched an investigation, and two days of national mourning have been declared.

The Boeing 737-201 crashed at 12:08 (16:08 GMT) on Friday, shortly after taking off from Havana on an internal flight to Holguin on the east of the island.

All six crew members on board were Mexican and the majority of the passengers were Cuban, with five foreigners reported to be among them.

“There has been an unfortunate aviation accident. The news is not very promising, it seems that there is a high number of victims,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said after visiting the crash site.

How did the plane come down?

It’s too early to say what caused the crash, but eyewitnesses on the ground describe seeing the jet burst into flames before crashing into a field close to a wooded area near Havana’s main airport.

“I saw it taking off,” supermarket worker Jose Luis told the AFP news agency. “All of a sudden, it made a turn, and went down. We were all amazed.”

“We heard an explosion and then saw a big cloud of smoke go up,” Gilberto Menendez, who runs a restaurant near the crash site, told Reuters.

“There has been an unfortunate aviation accident. The news is not very promising, it seems that there is a high number of victims,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said after visiting the crash site.

How did the plane come down?

It’s too early to say what caused the crash, but eyewitnesses on the ground describe seeing the jet burst into flames before crashing into a field close to a wooded area near Havana’s main airport.

“I saw it taking off,” supermarket worker Jose Luis told the AFP news agency. “All of a sudden, it made a turn, and went down. We were all amazed.”

“We heard an explosion and then saw a big cloud of smoke go up,” Gilberto Menendez, who runs a restaurant near the crash site, told Reuters.

Source: BBC