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State media: Plane crashes in central Cuba, 68 dead

From Shasta Darlington, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A state-run radio station says there were no survivors
  • A witness says she saw the plane burst into flames
  • The Aerocaribbean plan was flying from Santiago de Cuba to Havana
  • Authorities are trying to determine what caused the crash
RELATED TOPICS
  • Cuba
  • Airlines
  • Havana

Havana, Cuba (CNN) -- A domestic passenger plane with 61 passengers and 7 crew members onboard crashed in central Cuba Thursday, state media reported.

State-run Radio Reloj said there were no survivors.

The Aerocaribbean plane was carrying 28 foreign passengers and 40 Cubans, state media said.

The plane was traveling from the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba and heading to the country's capital of Havana, the state-run website Cubadebate reported.

The Civil Aviation Institute of Cuba said Flight 883 lost contact with air traffic controllers around 5:42 p.m. (4:42 p.m. ET), Cubadebate said.

Authorities were still trying to determine what caused the crash late Thursday, state media said.

Preliminary reports indicate that the plane crashed in a rural part of the country, near the Zaza Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Cuba, according to state media.

All the doctors in the province have been mobilized, according to a hospital worker who declined to give her name because she was not authorized to speak to the media. The hospital worker said she saw the plane crash from 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) away.

"When it hit the ground, it burst into flames," she said.