Cuba plane crash: 110 confirmed dead

Kalerkantho Online   

20 May, 2018 17:13 PM

Cuba plane crash: 110 confirmed dead

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel (C) said a 'high number' of people were feared dead [Adalberto Roque/ AFP]

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Cuba's worst aviation disaster in decades has killed 110 people, including five children, the country's transport minister confirmed.

As two days of national mourning began on Saturday, Adel Yzquierdo said just three people had survived the crash, all of whom were critically injured and are receiving treatment at a hospital in Cuba's capital, Havana, reports Al Jazeera.

The Boeing 737-201, on a domestic flight to the eastern city of Holguin,  crashed at 12:08pm on Friday (16:08 GMT), shortly after taking off from Havana's Jose Marti International Airport. 

Yzquierdo said those on board Flight 972, operated by state airline Cubana de Aviacion, included 102 Cubans, three tourists, two foreign residents and six crew members from Mexico.

The 39-year-old jet with its crew had been leased to Cubana de Aviacion by a Mexican company, Global Air, also known as Aerolineas Damojh. 

Maite Quesada, a member of the Cuban Council of Churches, announced that 20 pastors from an evangelical church were among the dead. Argentina's foreign ministry said earlier that two of its citizens had died in the crash.

The three survivors, who were pulled from the wreckage, were Cubans.

One of the plane's two black boxes has been recovered in "good condition" and handed to investigators, Yzquierdo said, with the other expected to be found "in the next few hours".

This was Cuba's third major air accident since 2010 and its worst since 1989 when 150 people were killed after a passenger plane crashed near the capital.