Passenger plane with 104 on board crashes in Cuba: state media

 Passenger plane with 104 on board crashes in Cuba: state media

By Sarah Marsh

HAVANA (Reuters) - A Boeing 737 plane crashed on Friday shortly after taking off from Havana's main airport, carrying 104 passengers on a domestic flight, Cuban state-run media reported.

It was not immediately known if there were any casualties on the plane, which was destined for Holguin and operated by national airline Cubana, state-run TV reported.

"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.

Ambulances and firefighters were rushing to the scene.

"A column of black smoke rose up in the sky," said Ana Gonzalez, a nearby resident.

Flight tracking websites indicated the flight was CU972, departing Havana at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT).

The aircraft was possibly leased from a small Mexican airline called Damojh, state media said.

"There is still no information, we are gathering what we can to give correct information," a Damojh representative told Reuters in Mexico. "As the day progresses there will be more information."

(Reporting by Sarah Marsh in Havana; additional reporting by Anthony Esposito in Mexico, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; editing by Grant McCool)

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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 01:05:38 IST