Over 100 people are dead after a Boeing 737 plane crashed near Havana, Cuba Friday.
The plane, which was headed for Holguin, Cuba, burst into flames soon after taking off from Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport at about 12.30 p.m. It subsequently crashed in a field close to a high school.
Three of the 113 people on board survived and were transported to University Hospital General Caliixto Garcia in critical condition, but one has since died from burns and trauma.
Firefighters are working to put out the flames, which caused huge plumes of smoke to rise from the site. Police and emergency medical crews have responded to the emergency as well.
Cuba’s newly elected president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, traveled to the crash site to survey emergency workers’ progress.
“There has been an unfortunate aviation accident. The news is not very promising, it seems that there is a high number of victims,” he said before the death count was known.
The plane was rented by the airline Cubana de Aviación, which has come under fire recently for its inefficient services and mechanical problems with its planes. The crash comes on the heels of a meeting between Cuban vice president Salvador Valdes Mesa and Cubana officials on how to improve the airline.
“Among the difficulties created by the U.S. trade embargo is our inability to acquire latest-generation aircraft with technology capable of guaranteeing the stability of aerial operations,” said Cubana’s director general, Captain Hermes Hernandez Dumas. “Another factor is obtaining parts for Cubana’s aircraft.”