Thirteen dead in Cubana crash
Jetliner hits Guatemala homes
From Herald Wire Services
GUATEMALA CITY -- At least 13 people died and 56 were injured
a Cubana airlines DC-10 overshot a rain-slicked runway and crashed into nearby
homes, an official with the Civil Aviation Authority said.
The plane was carrying 298 people, including 16 crew members and
Guatemalans, most of them medical students in Cuba who were coming home for
the holidays, Peter Zimeri, head of Guatemala's Civil Aviation Authority, said.
The accident occurred around 10:00 a.m. Firefighters at the scene
victims, including airline passengers and residents of La Libertad neighborhood,
remained trapped under the twisted metal Tuesday afternoon.
Local news media reported that the dead included the pilot, Cecilio
and the flight engineer, Jorge Toledo, as well as Daniel Antonio Alarcon, third
secretary of the Guatemalan Embassy in Cuba, and Heydi Marisol Ramirez
Hernandez, a 13-year-old girl.
Government officials closed an area about 1,600 feet around the
a possible fire sparked by fuel leaking from the plane.
Defense Minister Marco Espinosa was managing the evacuation, prevention
control operation at the scene.
Zimeri, the civil aviation director, said the pilot was not familiar
with the landing
strip, which was very wet, although he ruled out the rain and hail as the cause of
Experts from Cuba and France have been called on to examine the
recorders, which have been recovered, in order to determine the cause of the
accident, Zimeri said.