Boeing 737 carrying 104 passengers crashes and explodes in Havana

BREAKING NEWS: Cuban airline explodes in a ball of flames and crashes near a high school moments after taking off from Havana airport – just one day after a third of its fleet were grounded over safety concerns

  • Internal Cubana de Aviacion flight was headed for Holguin, when it went down near a high school campus on Friday
  • Witnesses reported seeing a huge fireball followed by a giant plume of smoke
  • Multiple casualties are reported although numbers are not yet clear
  • Fire crews and ambulances are already on the scene

A Boeing 737 plane has crashed moments after taking off from Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport – just one day after more than a third of its fleet were grounded over safety concerns. 

The internal Cubana de Aviacion flight was headed for the city of Holguin, on the eastern side Cuba, when it went down near a high school campus on Friday.

Photos of the scene show fire crews attempting to put out the still smoking wreckage of the aircraft which was devastated in the crash. Debris was left scattered across the surrounding area after the explosion.

Multiple casualties are reported although numbers are not yet clear, a source told CNN. 

A Boeing 737 plane has crashed moments after taking off from Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport – just one day after more than a third of its fleet were grounded over safety concerns (pictured is the wreckage)

Fire crews and emergency services were on the scene to put out the fire still smoldering in the ashes of the plane

Witnesses at the airport terminal reported seeing a huge fireball followed by a giant plume of smoke rising in the distance.

Fire crews and ambulances are on the scene.

Cuba’s national airline, Cubana de Aviacion, has been plagued with safety issues in recent years due to its aging fleet – and only yesterday, more than a third of its fleet were officially grounded.

A thick plume of smoke, rising from the wreckage (pictured) could be seen from the nearby airport terminal

Multiple casualties are reported although numbers are not yet clear (pictured is a Cubana de Aviacion at the international terminal of the Jose Marti Airport in Havana in 2016)

The company – which has a fleet of 16 with an average age of almost ten years old – received an order from the Cuban National Aviation Authority to ground its six An-158 aircraft due to ‘serious’ technical and safety issues including cracks and mechanical issues, according to Airline Geeks.

Most of the Ukranian-built aircraft had already been grounded as the airline struggled to get new parts.

Today’s crash reportedly involved Cubana’s sole Boeing 737, leased from Portugese airline EuroAtlantic Airways, which had been delivered to the company in 2009.

Cubana added two turboprop ATR 72-500s, provided by South African Solenta Aviation, in 2017.

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