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Only three survives Cuba plane crash, says local media

(Xinhua)    13:17, May 19, 2018

HAVANA, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Only three women survived a tragic plane crash on Friday in Havana, yet authorities still haven't provided a total death toll.

According to local media, initially the number of survivors was four, including three women and a man who died moments after arriving at the hospital.

According to Dr. Carlos Alberto Martinez, director of the Calixto Garcia Hospital in the capital, the injured women are in stable condition, but their prognosis is reserved and critical.

The plane, rented by local company Cubana de Aviacion from the Mexican airline Damojh, crashed shortly after taking off from Havana's Jose Marti International Airport.

A total of 111 people were on board, including 104 passengers and an infant, Transport Minister of the island Adel Yzquierdo told local media.

The official said the victims are mostly Cubans, and there were also five foreigners on the plane, and six crew members of Mexican nationality.

The Cuban government decreed two days of mourning from 6:00 a.m. (1000 GMT) on Saturday to Sunday midnight.

A commission to investigate the causes of the accident has been set up. Chaired by the Civil Aeronautics Institute, the commission will carry out an exhaustive enquiry in collaboration with the Interior Ministry, which has preserved the site, according to Yzquierdo.

The Cuban official said the process will be complex, due to the heavy rains over Havana over the last hours.

Local media also reported that Raul Castro, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, conveyed his condolences to the victims' families.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel immediately went to the scene of the incident. In his statements to local television, he expressed his solidarity with the relatives of the deceased and announced that investigations to clarify the causes of the accident are progressing.

Friday's crash was Cuba's third major accident since 2010.

Last year, a Cuban military plane crashed into a hillside in the western province of Artemisa, killing eight soldiers on board.

In November 2010, an AeroCaribbean flight from Santiago to Havana went down as it flew over central Cuba, killing 68 people, including 28 foreigners.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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