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Cuban airliner crash kills 68

Bryan Alaspa's picture

An airliner controlled by the state crashed in Cuba carrying a number of travelers from Europe and Latin America. The plane reportedly crashed and burst into flames in a mountainous area. Just before it crashed the pilot had declared an emergency and then it lost contact with the air traffic controllers. On board were roughly 40 Cubans and 28 foreigners.

AeroCarribbean Flight 883 was traveling from Santiango de Cuba to the nation’s capital when the pilot called in an emergency. When the emergency call arrived it was roughly 5:42 p.m. Then, the air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane. The plane reportedly went down near the village of Guasimal. There were 61 total passengers and a crew of seven on board.

“A ball of flame”

According to a witness on the ground the plane had become a “ball of flame” as it plummeted from the sky and crashed into the mountains near the village. The Cuban Civil Aviation Authority later released a statement that there appeared to be no survivors aboard the flight. A list of names of passengers on that flight were posted on a website of a government-run newspaper Juventud Rebelde.

With a death toll of 68 the crash would be the worst since 1989. The second words occurred on September 3, 1989. At that time a Soviet-made Ilyushin-62M plane crashed just after take off. On that plane 126 people died.

Bulldozers were reportedly at the scene of the crash from Thursday and had cleared a path to the wreckage. Authorities were reporting that they had begun to remove bodies. An officially released photo of the crash site showed a large segment of the airplane still engulfed in flames.

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