Plane crashes on takeoff from Havana airport

Plane crashes on takeoff from Havana airport

A Cubana de Aviacion Boeing 737-200 with 104 people on board crashed Friday on takeoff from Havana's Jose Marti International Airport, according to Cuba's state-run television.

Three passengers were in critical condition after surviving the crash, CNN reported citing the state-run newspaper Granma.

The Granma report included a photo from an airport terminal of a large plume of black smoke rising in the distance.

A large fireball followed by a towering plume of smoke was visible near the airport on the outskirts of Havana, according to witnesses.

Cubana de Aviacion -- Cuba's national carrier -- has had to ground some of its aging fleet because of safety issues, though the cause of Friday's crash is unknown.

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