The New York Times
August 30, 1998

          74 Die in Crash of Cuban Jet in Ecuador

          By REUTERS

                QUITO, Ecuador -- At least 74 people died and 26 were injured
                Saturday when a Cuban airliner crashed into a soccer field and
          exploded while trying to take off from Quito's international airport,
          officials and witnesses said.

          The Red Cross said it had recovered 74 bodies, five of them of children
          who had been playing soccer in the field, and had helped 8 survivors from
          the crash of the Russian-made Cubana de Aviación plane, which was
          bound for the Ecuadorean coastal city of Guayaquil.

          A spokesman for Ecuador's Civil Defense office said his team had pulled
          out 70 badly burned bodies.

          "But there are survivors," a rescue worker said. "I personally rescued one
          survivor, and I know there are others."

          While Cubana de Aviación has yet to make an official statement on the
          crash, early reports indicated that the flight had been carrying 80
          passengers, many of them Ecuadorean.

          The plane, a blue, white and red Russian Tupolev, had arrived with
          tourists aboard on Saturday morning from Havana. From Guayaquil it
          was supposed to head back to Havana.

          Witnesses and survivors said the jet seemed to have engine problems
          before the accident.

          It tried and failed twice to take off, and on the third attempt, was forced
          to slam on the brakes when it could not get enough altitude as it neared
          the runway's end, they said.

          The plane crashed through the airport's fence into a field, killing two
          passers-by and the five children playing soccer.

          A Red Cross workers told reporters that the accident was evidence of
          the riskiness of Quito's airport, situated in the northern part of the Andean
          city in a highly populated zone.

          The Quito crash came just over a year after another Cubana de Aviación
          plane plunged into the sea off Cuba, killing all 44 people on board,
          including 6 Spaniards and 2 Brazilians.

          The Soviet-built twin-engined Antonov-24 apparently suffered an engine
          failure shortly after takeoff on July 11, 1997, from the eastern city of
          Santiago de Cuba en route to Havana.

          Cubana's worst airline disaster was in September 1989, when a plane
          crashed near Havana after taking off for Italy and killed all 126 people