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Several Europeans killed in Cuban plane crash

Twenty-eight foreigners were among those killed in Thursday's Cuban plane crash. Those dead include two Germans, as well as several other Europeans. It's the worst crash in the country in over 30 years.

Burning wreckage, rescuers

Wreckage from the plane burned for several hours

A passenger plane crashed in central Cuba late on Thursday, killing all 68 passengers and crew. The passengers included 28 foreigners, among them two Germans. Austrian, Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish citizens were also among those killed.

The Cuban Civil Aeronautics Institute said that the Aero Caribbean aircraft came down in the central region of Guasimal in the province of Sancti Spiritus. The plane was en route from the eastern town of Santiago to the capital, Havana. The CCAI said the ATR-72 twin turboprop plane had reported an "emergency situation" before losing contact with air traffic control.

Plane crashed in mountainous terrain

State-run media said rescuers had to use a bulldozer to break their way through thick vegetation to the crash site. They said the plane went down in rugged mountain terrain, not far from the Presa Zaza water reservoir, the country's largest.

Aero Caribbean is a state-owned regional airline. The ATR-72 is a French-Italian made aircraft used mainly for regional and short-haul flights.

The crash is the worst in Cuba since 1989, when a Soviet-made Ilyushin-62M plane crashed shortly after take-off in Havana en route to Italy, killing all 126 people on board.

Author: Timothy Jones
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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