A Boeing 737 plane carrying 104 passengers has crashed moments after taking off from Havana, Cuba, amid reports of a “high number of victims.”
An airport source said there are reported casualties after The Cubana passenger jet went down and exploded into flames near Jose Marti International Airport at about 12.30pm local time, reports CNN.
Officials have not said whether anyone was injured or killed, but Cuba’s president Miguel Díaz-Canel has now confirmed “there (was) a high number of victims” in the crash.Photos posted online by witnesses at the airport show a plume of black smoke rising into the sky.Firefighters were on scene attempting to extinguish the blaze.
The plane was reportedly carrying 104 passengers plus crew on a domestic flight to Holguin.It crashed near a motorway and a high school in the Boyeros neighbourhood, located next to the airport.
It crashed between the locality of Boyeros and the village of Santiago de La Vegas”, state-run TV said in its midday news broadcast, referring to an area some 20 km south of Havana.
US Ambassador to Cuba Jose Ramon Cabanas wrote: “Aerial crash in Cuba.”Cuban Television has just confirmed the news that several digital media are reporting.
“Flight carried 104 passengers. Authorities and rescue forces in place, near the airport.”
— Danish DK (@Danish99873428) May 19, 2018
Air crash in #Cuba:
– The Boeing 737 plane fell after taking off from Havana.
– 104 people were traveling.
– At least 3 survivors are now in serious condition.
– The flight was operated by 'Cubana de Aviación'.
– The plane was leased to the Mexican 'Damojh'.#PrayForCuba 🇨🇺 pic.twitter.com/3bjXl3mTWK
— Art Sandoval (@ArtSandovalMX) May 18, 2018
The crash takes place amid a crisis in Cubana de Aviación. Out of a fleet size of 16 planes, 6 AN-158 planes purchased from #Russia 5 years ago were taken off service due to faulty mechanical/electrical/hydraulic parts/technical failures. Domestic flights in #Cuba were suspended pic.twitter.com/RpC6vlEvSu
— Michael Lima Cuadra (@ngotranslations) May 19, 2018