Plane with at least 68 aboard crashes in Cuba

HAVANA, (Reuters) – A plane carrying at least 68  people crashed in central Cuba after issuing an emergency call,  state-run media said today, and there were no initial  reports of survivors.

Cuban television said the plane was an ATR-72-212 twin     turboprop aircraft that belonged to Cuba’s state-owned Aero  Caribbean airlines.

The plane was said to have left Santiago de Cuba in eastern  Cuba en route to Havana and gone down at 5:42 p.m. EDT (0942  GMT) near the town of Guasimal in Sancti Spiritus province  after calling out an emergency to air traffic controllers.

An employee at the Guasimal hospital told Reuters officials  there had been told nobody survived the crash.

“They called just now and said there are no survivors, but  I don’t know if it’s true,” the employee said. “So far they  haven’t brought anybody” to the hospital.
Sources in Sancti Spiritus said so far seven bodies had  been pulled from the wreckage, which a witness described as “a  ball of flame in the middle of the mountain.”

The media reports said those onboard included 40 Cubans, 28  foreigners and seven crew members. But the numbers were  unclear.

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