The New York Times
August 29, 1998

          Ecuador Plane Crash Kills 69

          By The Associated Press

          QUITO, Ecuador (AP) -- A Cuban commercial airplane burst into flames
          and crashed during takeoff Saturday in Ecuador, killing at least 69 people,
          authorities said.

          Witnesses said the Russian-made Tupolev aircraft owned by Cubana de
          Aviacion lost altitude and clipped the top of an auto mechanic's shop
          beyond the end of the runway at the Quito international airport before
          plowing into a soccer field.

          The plane was heading to Guayaquil, on the Ecuadorean coast, and then
          on to Havana.

          Airport officials said there were 76 passengers and six crew members on
          board. They did not say what caused the crash or provide the nationalities
          of the passengers.

          Alfredo Albuja, head of emergency operations for the Civil Aviation
          Office, said at least 69 people were killed in the crash but did not specify
          if that included anyone killed on the ground.

          A local radio station reported that four people died when the plane struck
          the mechanic's shop, but that could not be confirmed.

          ``There must be many dead, but there are also survivors. I pulled one
          person out alive,'' said civil defense volunteer Hugo Albuja.

          Channel 10 television interviewed Cuban survivor Hernan Boada, 27,
          who suffered a broken ankle.

          ``Before we heard the roar of the crash, we felt the plane rise a bit and
          burst in flames. There were three explosions,'' Boada said. ``I saw other
          people wrapped in flames jump from the plane.''

          Boada said that ``people nearby, in a soccer field, helped me get away
          from the plane fearing explosions.''