Plane crashes on takeoff from Havana airport, Cuban TV reports
(CNN) — A Cubana de Aviacion Boeing 737-200 with 104 people on board crashed Friday on takeoff from Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, according to Cuba’s state-run television.
The flight was headed to the eastern Cuban city of Holguin, and casualties have been reported, an airport source told CNN.
The plane went down at 12:08 p.m. in the Santiago de las Vegas neighborhood near the airport, according to Cuba’s state-run newspaper Granma. The report included a photo from an airport terminal of a large plume of black smoke rising in the distance.
The aircraft for Flight DMJ 0972 had been rented by the airline, according to Granma.
Holguin is more 700 kilometers (about 500) miles east of the Cuban capital. Cuban state media originally reported that the flight was bound for Guyana.
A large fireball followed by a towering plume of smoke was visible near the airport on the outskirts of Havana, according to witnesses.
Cubana de Aviacion — Cuba’s national carrier — has had to ground some of its aging fleet because of safety issues, though the cause of Friday’s crash is unknown.
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