Latest: 'Three survivors' after plane with 113 on board crashes on take-off in Cuba

Update - 9.26pm: Three survivors have reportedly been taken to hospital in a critical condition after a plane crashed on take-off from an airport in Cuba.

The Boeing 737 operated by Cubana de Aviacion crashed after leaving Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.

The plane, with 104 passengers and nine foreign crew aboard, ploughed into a farm field where firefighters sprayed the charred fuselage with hoses.

Residents living near the site said they saw at least some survivors being taken away in ambulances.

A military officer said there appear to have been three survivors in a critical condition.

"It's a disaster," the officer said.

State media also reported there were three survivors.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it has not had any reports of any Irish citizens caught up in the incident.

"However, we stand ready to provide consular assistance if necessary", a statement adds.

An employee of a Mexican charter firm said the plane belonged to the company and it had a six-person Mexican crew.

"My daughter is 24, my God, she's only 24!" cried Beatriz Pantoja.

Her daughter Leticia was on board the plane. She and other family members were rushed to a private area inside an airport terminal in the afternoon.

Cubana has placed many of its planes out of service due to maintenance problems in recent months.

An employee who answered the phone at the Mexico City office of Aerolinea Global Air said that the Mexican crew included a pilot and a co-pilot.

7.18pm: Boeing 737 with 113 on board crashes on take-off from Cuban airport

A Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana has crashed on take-off from Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.

The plane, with 104 passengers and nine crew aboard, came to rest in a farm field where firefighters sprayed the charred fuselage with hoses. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Officials said the plane was headed to the eastern city of Holguin when it crashed between the airport in southern Havana and the nearby town of Santiago de las Vegas.

The plane lay in a field of yuca-root plants and appeared heavily damaged and burnt. Firefighters were trying to extinguish its smoldering remains.

Government officials including President Miguel Diaz-Canel rushed to the site, along with a large number of emergency medical workers and ambulances.

Residents of the rural area said they had seen some survivors being taken away in ambulances.

A military officer who declined to provide his name to reporters said that there appeared to have been only three survivors in critical condition, but other officials declined to confirm that figure.

The plane was rented by Cubana, which has taken many of its aging planes out of service in recent months due to mechanical problems. Cuba’s First Vice-President, Salvador Valdes Mesa, met Thursday with Cubana officials to discuss improvements in its heavily criticized service.


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