Plane with 68 onboard crashes in Cuba, no survivors reported

09:20, 05 November 2010
World
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There were no survivors...

A passenger plane crashed in central Cuba on Thursday night, killing all 68 people onboard, the Cuban civil aviation authorities said, according to Xinhua.

The ATR-72 twin turboprop plane of the state-run Aero Caribbean airline crashed near the town of Guasimal, 355 km east of Havana, in the central Sancti Spiritus province, the Civil Aeronautics Institute of Cuba (IACC) said.

There were no survivors, the IACC said in a statment.

The ATR-72, a French-Italian made aircraft, is mainly used for regional flights and short trips.

The Flight 883, with 61 passengers and seven crew members including 28 foreigners onboard, was flying to Havana from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba at 4:45 p.m. (2145 GMT).

The plane issued an emergency call before it lost contact with the control tower at 5:42 p.m. local time (2242 GMT).

Among the foreigners onboard were three Dutch nationals, two Germans, two Austrians, a French, an Italian, a Spaniard, a Japanese, nine Argentines, seven Mexicans and a Venezuelan, the IACC said.

The official website Cubadebate.cu said that one body has been recovered. "Until now there is no survivor," journalists from Guasimal town near the crash site said on Twitter.

Witnesses said the airliner burst into a fireball, adding that rescuers had to use a bulldozer to access the mountainous area where the plane crashed.

An emergency committee has been formed to investigate the accident. An Il-18 plane of the Aero Caribbean airline crashed in mount Isabel de Torres in the Dominican Republic in 1992, killing all 34 people onboard.

The Aero Caribbean operates scheduled domestic passenger services to four domestic destinations and international services, as well as charter flights mainly within the Caribbean and South America.

 

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