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Fire crews and ambulances rushed to the scene of the crash [Adalberto Roque/AFP]
A plane with more than 110 people on board has crashed shortly after taking off from Jose Marti airport in Cuba’s capital, Havana, according to state media.
The Boeing 737, which was heading to the eastern city of Holguin, crashed “near the international airport” on Friday, state agency Prensa Latina reported.
The aircraft carried 104 passengers and nine crew. Local media reports said there were at least three survivors who were taken to hospital in critical condition.
Fire crews and ambulances rushed to the scene, while images posted on social media purported to show a thick column of smoke rising above the crash site.
“There has been an unfortunate aviation accident. The news is not very promising, it seems that there is a high number of victims,” Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who visited the site, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.
The plane was almost completely destroyed in the crash and subsequent fire, the agency reported.
Mercedes Vazquez, Cuba’s air transport director, told state media that the Boeing 737-200 plane was leased by Cubana de Aviacion from a small Mexican airline called Global Aerolineas Damohj.
The last fatal crash in Cuba was in 2017, the Aviation Safety Network said. It was a military flight that killed all eight personnel aboard.
In 2010, a commercial Aero Caribbean plane crashed in central Cuba. All 68 people on board were killed.
Source: Al Jazeera