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Cuba: Passenger plane crashes after taking off from Havana

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A Boeing 737 passenger jet with more than 100 people aboard crashed in a huge fireball Friday after taking off from an airport in Havana, Cuba, according to reports.

The plane reportedly belongs to Cubana de Aviación – with reports the aircraft flying to Holguin.

The domestic flight was due to last around one hour and 20 minutes.

“It crashed between the locality of Boyeros and the village of Santiago de La Vegas”, state-run TV said in its midday news broadcast, referring to an area some 20 km south of Havana.

Cuba’s ambassador in the US, José Ramón Cabañas, said in a social media post that 104 passengers were on the flight.

The airliner crashed and exploded near a high school in the Boyeros neighborhood close to Jose Marti International Airport at about 12:30 p.m. local time, the UK’s Metro reported.

In the last few weeks, Cuba’s national carrier had to ground a number of its aging planes because of safety issues, according to CNN.

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