A 737-200, 39 year-old XA-UHZ, operated by Global Aerolineas Damojh, a small charter company from Mexico, has crashed into a wooden area seconds after takeoff from Havana, Cuba. The aircraft was leased by Cubana and was schedueled to operate flight CU972 to Holguin, Cuba. Intitial reports suggest that three out of the 114 people on board have been rescued from the wreckage of the plane which erupted in flames emitting thick black smoke. One of the survivors (all women) has sadly passed away in hospital succumbing to her injuries. Scenes from the crash site only show burnt wreckage with the vertical stabilizer still identifiable.
Of the 111 people on board 105 were passengers while the remaining 6 were crew members. 100 of the passengers were Cuban, while the remaining 5 were foreigners.
The Cuban Ministry of Transport has later confirmed that the plane involved was XA-UHZ, ending speculations as to which plane exactly was the one that crashed.
An eye witness reported that he was pulled out of his house after the plane made an "enormous noise" at takeoff and said the plane veered right and revved up the engines shortly before the accident.
The airline later released a statement and confirmed that their aircraft XA-UHZ has crashed in Havana. On board were 104 passengers, one infant and six members of crew. They expressed their deepest condolences to the families and are sending representatives to Cuba. Boeing and the NTSB are also dispatching a team to Cuba for further investigation.
Initial reports from Cuban state media reported a plane from Italian Blue Panorama Airlines was involved, which was NOT the case.
Scene at the crash site:
(Image source: AFP)