Cuban plane crashes with 68 on board

Friday, November 5, 2010

HAVANA - A Cuban plane crashed late Thursday with 68 people on board, among them 28 foreigners, the authorities said without specifying nationalities or whether there had been any survivors.

According to a statement by the Cuban civil aeronautics institute (IACC), an ATR-72-212 aircraft of Cuba’s Aerocaribbean SA airlines, en route from Santiago de Cuba to Havana, crashed in the central region of Guasimal in the province of Sancti Spiritus.

The IACC said the aircraft had reported an “emergency situation” at 5.42 p.m. (2242 GMT) and then lost contact with air traffic control. The authorities were working on establishing the details of the incident, the IACC said, adding that a commission had been formed to investigate.

Sixty-one passengers and seven crew had been on board when the “regrettable accident” occurred, a statement read on Cuban television said. There had been 40 Cubans and 28 foreigners on board, it added.

The passengers’ names would be released at a later point, the statement said.

Cubavision said it planned to release another bulletin at 0500 GMT.

The ATR-72 is a French-Italian made twin turboprop aircraft, used mainly for regional and short-haul flights. According to the IACC, it has a maximum passenger capacity of 68 and a range of up to 1,195 km.

Havana-based Aerocarribean is owned by the Cuban state and covers mostly domestic routes.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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