HAVANA – Eight soldiers, including the flight crew, died Saturday in a Cuban military plane crash some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Havana, the Armed Forces Ministry said in a statement.
The AN-26 aircraft belonging to the Cuban armed forces took off at 6:38 am from the Playa Baracoa airport, 30 kilometers from Havana, and crashed into a hillside in Candelaria, a municipality in the western province of Artemisa.
An Armed Forces Ministry commission is investigating the cause of the crash, according to an official statement.
That statement said previous rumors that 39 passengers had died in the crash of a commercial jet operated by Aerogaviota – an armed forces-controlled airline that operates domestic flights and flies to regional destinations in the Caribbean – were incorrect.
In November 2010, 68 people, including 28 foreigners of 10 nationalities, were killed when an ATR-72 twin-engine plane operated by Cuban airline Aero Caribbean crashed in the central province of Sancti Spiritus at a spot some 400 kilometers southeast of Havana.