Plane crashes on takeoff from Havana airport

Posted at 12:25 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 14:25:27-04

A Cubana de Aviacion Boeing 737 with 104 people on board crashed on takeoff from Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport on Friday, according to Cuba’s state-run television.

The flight was headed to the Cuban city of Holguin and casualties are reported, an airport source told CNN.

The western city of Holguin is 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 the Cuban capital, 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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