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A 737 crashed shortly after takeoff at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport

Emergency personnel works at the site of the accident after a Cubana de Aviacion aircraft crashed near Havana’s airport.
By April Siese
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel told journalists on Friday (May 18) that 104 passengers and nine crew members were aboard a 737 that crashed about a mile and a half from Cuba’s capital airport. Witnesses reported seeing a fireball shooting into the air and smoke billowing from the aircraft.

Emergency responders have been dispatched to the scene, including firefighters and ambulances. According to state-run media, only three people survived the crash. Their conditions are unclear.

The Cubana de Aviacion flight was scheduled to land in Holguin, on the other side of the country, at 12:20pm local time. There aren’t yet details on what caused the crash, which comes just weeks after the airline grounded six AN-158 regional aircraft amid safety concerns. The planes, which can accommodate up to 100 passengers, reportedly suffered a series of mechanical and structural issues.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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