HAVANA — More than 100 people were killed when a Boeing 737 crashed soon after taking off from Havana in what appeared to be Cuba’s worst air disaster in nearly 30 years, officials and state media said on Friday.
A Cuban-operated airliner with at least 110 people aboard has crashed and burned in a field just after take-off from the Havana airport, the ruling Communist Party newspaper, Granma, said there were three survivors.
The passenger plane, on a domestic flight to Holguin in eastern Cuba, crashed at 12:08 p.m. (1608 GMT). Five of the passengers and the crew were foreign citizens, media reports said.
The Mexican Government said Mexican citizens were among the dead, without providing further details.
The aircraft, on a domestic flight to Holguin in eastern Cuba, crashed shortly after taking off from Havana.State TV said the passenger jet veered sharply to the right after leaving the runway.
Cuba declared an official period of mourning from 6 a.m. on May 19 to 12 pm on May 20, during which the flag would be flown at half-mast outside state and military institutions.
Former Cuban president Raul Castro, who now heads the country’s ruling Communist Party, offered his condolences to the families of those who died in the crash as he recovered from a hernia operation, State media reported
Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely
COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.
The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.
“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.