The Cuban authorities have confirmed the deaths of 68 passengers of a plane that crashed early this morning in central Cuba. The victims were seven crew and 61 passengers. The incident took place near the city of Sancti Spiritus, in the center of the island. The wrecked machine belongs to the Cuban company Aerocaribean, flight 883, en route to Santiago de Cuba to Havana, according to preliminary investigations, the cause of the accident may be caused by bad weather over the area hurricane Thomas .
Among the dead, nine EU citizens: two Germans, two Austrians, one Italian, one French, three Dutch. Also 40 Cubans aboard a Japanese, Venezuelan, Argentine nine passengers and seven Mexican nationals.
Several ambulances were moved to the scene shortly after the news became known to initiate rescue and recovery of the bodies. In a note read by the National Television News, the Civil Aeronautics Institute of Cuba reported that at approximately 17.00 on Thursday the aircraft, an ATR-72-212 launched a Russian-made emergency warning and soon thereafter lost contact with air traffic towers. The accident occurred near the rural communities and Guasimal Wall, located about 15 kilometers from the provincial capital Spiritus and relatively close to the Zaza dam, the largest reservoir of Cuba.
The last crash in Cuba dating back to March 2002. Antonov An-2 aircraft traveling between Cienfuegos and Cayo Coco crashed killing all 16 crew. Six of them were tourists Canadians, four Britons and two Germans. The most serious incident of the past three decades occurred in September 1989 when an Il-62 bound for Milan fell in Havana shortly after takeoff, killing its 115 occupants, two Cubans and 113 Italian tourists. The wreckage fell on homes and killed 40 others on the ground.