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Havana plane crash leaves more than 100 dead

Media captionCuba crash: Emergency workers at the scene

More than 100 people have died after a Boeing 737 airliner crashed near Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuban state media say.

Three people have survived but are in a critical condition, Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma reported.

The Boeing 737 took off at 12;08 (16:08 GMT) on Friday, on an internal flight to Holguin.

The plane was carrying 110 passengers and crew, according to the Mexican firm from which the plane was leased.

There were six Mexican crew members on board, and the passengers are all reported to be Cuban.

“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.

State TV said it was an internal flight from the Cuban capital to the city of Holguin, in the east of the island.

The airliner had been leased to state airline Cubana de Aviación by the Mexican company Aerolineas Damojh.

The Mexican authorities said the plane was built in 1979 and had been successfully inspected last November.

Aerolineas Damojh, also known as Global Air, has three planes in operation.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Plumes of smoke rose above the crash site

Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

Emergency services are at the scene of the accident

Images showed a thick column of smoke rising above the crash site as fire crews and ambulances attended the scene.

Radio Havana Cuba said on Twitter that the plane came down on the “highway” between Boyeros and Havana, near the airport.

According to industry research, last year was the safest in history for commercial airline travel with no passenger jet crashes.

But there have been several serious air disasters this year. Last month, a military plane crashed shortly after take-off in Algeria, killing more than 250 people.

Havana plane crash leaves more than 100 dead

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