The number of fatalities of the plane crash in Cuba amounts to 111, Mexico suspends its lease

HAVANA / MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The death toll in one of Cuba's worst air disasters rose to 111 on Monday while Mexico suspended operations of the Mexican company that leased the 39-year-old Boeing 737 to the flagship airline of Cuba.

Director of the Legal Medical Institute Sergio Rabell talks about the bodies of the victims of the Boeing 737 plane crash during a press conference in Havana, Cuba May 21, 2018. REUTERS / Alexandre Meneghini

Grettel Landrove, a young man A 23-year-old Cuban student who loved to dance flamenco died in a hospital in Havana of "severe traumatic injuries," Cuban state media reported.

Two Cuban women remained in critical condition due to burns and other traumas, with a high risk of complications, according to media reports. Many Cubans closely monitor their progress through periodic hospital updates.

The plane crashed shortly after takeoff on a domestic flight from Havana to the eastern city of Holguin on Friday in one of Cuba's worst air disasters.

The accident has killed 100 Cubans, 7 Mexicans, two Argentines and two Sahrawis from a disputed area in Western Sahara known as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

The plane was a Boeing 737 built in 1979 and leased to the Cuban flagship Cubana by a little-known Mexican company Damojh.

Mexico's civil aviation authority said on Monday it had temporarily suspended Damojh's operations while making sure the firm complied with the regulations and gathered information to help investigators find the cause of the accident.

Damojh, who owned three 737 aircraft before the accident, has been suspended twice before during regulatory compliance reviews, the authority said.

Operations were halted for approximately one month in 2010 after a Damojh plane made an emergency landing in the Mexican resort of Puerto Vallarta due to a problem with its landing gear.

The authority investigated again in 2013 after receiving a complaint from Marco Aurelio Hernández, who was identified at the weekend by the Mexican media as a former Damojh pilot.

Hernández was quoted by the Mexican newspaper Milenio to criticize Damojh for the lack of proper maintenance on their aircraft.

The 2013 investigation resulted in a suspension for approximately two months.

Most air accidents take months to investigate. Cuban researchers have so far recovered the voice recorder from the badpit and are still looking for the flight data recorder.

Cuba will direct the investigation, with the help of Mexican and US researchers, Cuban state media said. You will receive technical badistance from Boeing and Pratt & Whitney, part of the US-based industrial group United Technologies. UU., Which manufactured the engines of the plane that crashed.

Friday's accident was the worst in Cuba since a Soviet-made Ilyushin-62M pbadenger plane landed near Havana in 1989, killing all 126 people on board and 14 others on the ground.

Report of Sarah Marsh in Havana and Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City; Edition of Sandra Maler and Darren Schuettler


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